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All about the world's first inhalable COVID-19 vaccine to get approval

The vaccine has been approved by China. It is meant to be used as a booster dose.

September 05, 2022 / 03:56 PM IST
(Representational image)

(Representational image)

The world's first inhaled vaccine against COVID-19 has been approved by China. The clearance came amid experts around the world seeking more focus on vaccines other than the intramuscular ones.

China is following a strict zero-COVID strategy, with officials under pressure to quickly crack down on any local rise in infections.

Here is what you need to know about about the vaccine approved for emergency use in China:

1) Called Convidecia Air, the vaccine has been developed by Tianjin-headquartered company CanSino. It is meant to be used as a booster dose.

2) Convidecia Air is a non-invasive vaccine. It uses a nebuliser to convert liquid into an aerosol that can be inhaled through the mouth. The vaccine can effectively induce immune protection "after just one breath", CanSino has said.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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3) CanSino had received the go-ahead to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine in March last year.

4) Convidecia Air is the inhaled version of CanSino’s one-shot vaccine that showed 66 percent effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 infection in early trials. Its effectiveness against severe disease was 91 percent.

5) A preprint study from July this year showed that two doses of the Sinovac vaccine and a booster dose of CanSino's inhaled vaccine produced greater antibodies than three doses of the former. Four weeks later, over 92. 5 percent people who took the inhaled dose had neutralising antibodies against Omicron.

6) The CanSino inhaled vaccine will not be available immediately, CNBC reported. The makers said they need more administrative clearances.
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first published: Sep 5, 2022 03:53 pm
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