China and India approve nasal COVID vaccines — are they a game changer?

Scientists hope the immunizations, delivered through the nose or mouth, will prevent even mild cases of illness.

Emily Waltz

Nature | September 06, 2022

CanSino Biologics’ inhaled vaccine has the same ingredients as the company’s COVID-19 shot that is already available in China.Credit: Chen Yuancai/VCG/Getty

Two needle-free COVID-19 vaccines that are delivered through the nose or mouth have been approved for use in China and India. China’s new vaccine, announced on Sunday, is inhaled through the nose and mouth as an aerosolized mist, and India’s, announced on Tuesday, is administered as drops in the nose.

These mucosal vaccines target thin mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth and lungs. By prompting immune responses where SARS-CoV-2 first enters the body, mucosal vaccines could, in theory, prevent even mild cases of illness and block transmission to other people — something COVID-19 shots have been unable to do. Vaccines that produce sterilizing immunity would be game changing for the pandemic.

Read More »

How nasal-spray vaccines could change the pandemic

Vaccines inhaled through the mouth or nose might stop the coronavirus in its tracks, although there’s little evidence from human trials so far.

Emily Waltz

Nature | September 06, 2022

A student in Washington DC receives an influenza nasal-spray vaccine, in 2009. Intranasal and oral COVID-19 vaccines are now in development. Credit: Hyungwon Kang/Reuters

Editor’s note: Indian regulators approved Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine for emergency use on 6 September.

Are sprays the future of COVID-19 vaccines?

That’s the hope of dozens of research groups and companies working on new kinds of inoculation. Rather than relying on injections, these use sprays or drops administered through the nose or mouth that aim to improve protection against the virus SARS-CoV-2.

Read More »

WTO decides: no TRIPS waiver

Trade delegates and WTO Secretariat celebrate package of documents issued at the end of the Ministerial Conference, yet outlook for Global South remains bleak

Peoples Health Dispatch | June 17, 2022

Activists stage a “die-in” action at the WTO Ministerial Conference to protest the lack of TRIPS waiver (Photo: Our World is Not for Sale

The WTO announced on June 17 that it had reached an agreement on the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver. The deal has been criticized by people’s movements around the world as the WTO decidedly rejected the demand by health activists for a full TRIPS waiver.

The ministerial decision on the TRIPS agreement, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, was announced in the early morning in Geneva on June 17, almost two days after the expected end of the 12th Ministerial Conference. Although the decision was hailed by the WTO Secretariat and officials from the Global North as an unprecedented result, in practice it falls short of meeting the bare minimum of the world’s needs.

Read More »

China, Cuba Present Jointly-Produced ‘Pan-Corona Vaccine’

teleSUR | June 03, 2022

Cuba and China present the first patent for the Pancorona vaccine, result of the collaboration between both countries in the biotechnological field. | Photo: Twitter @EmbacubaChina

Cuba managed to develop five COVID-19 vaccines and inoculated 95% of its population against the COVID-19 virus, despite the burden of the U.S. blockade. China, likewise, produced a massive amount of two different vaccines for its 1.4 billion-strong population and much of the Third World.

Cuba and the People’s Republic of China jointly filed the first patent for a vaccine against  COVID-19 and its many variants, which could also be effective against several related viruses, the Cuban daily Granma reported on Thursday.

Read More »

What COVID vaccines for young kids could mean for the pandemic

Max Kozlov

Nature | October 27, 2021

A minor is inoculated with the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine in a Mexico City library.
Modellers predict that vaccinating children against COVID-19 could significantly curtail the spread of any new coronavirus variants of concern.Credit: Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty

Paediatricians and families in the United States are eagerly waiting to see whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will authorize a COVID-19 vaccine for the nation’s roughly 28 million 5- to 11-year-olds. Yesterday, an FDA advisory committee reviewed data from a clinical trial testing a low-dose version of the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech on children in that age group — and voted nearly unanimously to recommend that the FDA grant the shot emergency approval.

Read More »

Abdala, with three doses, demonstrates 92.28% efficacy

Communist Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on behalf of Cuba, congratulates researchers who in 13 months achieved a global milestone

A three-dose regimen of the Abdala candidate vaccine has demonstrated an efficacy of 92.28 percent, placing it well above the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement of at least 50 percent, to be recognized as an anti-COVID-19 vaccine.
Over the course of 48 hours, from Saturday to Monday, Cuba, a small, poor country, has shaken the world, noted Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, in a meeting, yesterday afternoon, with researchers at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), where Abdala was developed.

Read More »

Soberana is a go!

Clinical trials of Soberana 02, administered in two doses, indicate effectiveness of 62%, thus surpassing the World Health Organization’s requirement of 50% for an anti-COVID candidate to be recognized as a vaccine

There is a small island country, bathed in the waters of the Caribbean. A country as small as David, with the same courage when the time comes to face a giant. A small country that has struggled and struggles. A small country dressed in olive green.

A country with sons and daughters who wage their battle looking into a microscope, wearing a white lab coat.

A country that has achieved an epic feat, an incalculable, healing feat. What vision to have bet on our own vaccines!

There is a country which, like the world, is confronting an invisible enemy, but our country, our island, must also face a siege, break blockades, invent marvels with our hands practically tied.

A country that rises to the occasion, despite the obstacles. A country working nights in laboratories, in search of the miraculous elixir.

There is a country that, against all odds, now has a vaccine: Soberana.

Today, the flag waves more beautifully than ever and our chests can barely hold the pride,

There is a country within a vial. With every dose sporting a beard and smelling of the Sierra Maestra.

Read More »

Clinical Trials of Mambisa and Abdala Candidate Vaccines Approved

Photo: BioCubaFarma

After a careful review of the information presented, including evidence from pharmaceutical development and studies in animals, the Center for the State Control of Drugs, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed), authorized the clinical trials of two new Cuban candidate vaccines to prevent COVID-19, given the names of Mambisa (CIGB-669) and Abdala (CIGB-66).

Trials of the first, created by researchers at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), affiliated with the BioCubaFarma Enterprise Group, and administered nasally, will be conducted in Havana, while the human studies of Abdala, administered intramuscularly, will take place in the city of Santiago de Cuba.Read More »


China’s Global Vaccines – A Game Changer

Sara Flounders

When, how and under what conditions a vaccine will be distributed in the U.S. is the overwhelming U.S. concern. Rates of COVID-19 deaths in the country have reached astounding levels and are still climbing. A toll of 500,000 deaths is predicted by February.

Read More »


Vaccines — Lessons from Three Centuries of Protest

Julie Leask

Nature | September 21, 2020

A protestor holds a sign against the use of vaccine, 5G and mask wearing in Spain
2020: Protesters elide vaccination, 5G mobile-phone technology and face masks in Spain, where COVID-19 rates are soaring.Credit: Marcos del Mazo/LightRocket via Getty

Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement Jonathan M. Berman MIT Press (2020)

The need to control outbreaks and pandemics has long created tensions between liberty and interdependence, similar to those playing out worldwide today. Anti-vaxxers is a book that reminds us of the historical precedents to the odd alliances — anti-vaccine, anti-mask, anti-5G, for instance — that are getting in the way of public health right now.Read More »