The vaccines against Covid-19 are being injected through a syringe, currently.
But, it is said things may change in the future and people may commence using inhalers or even pills instead of covid-19 vaccines.
Ingemo Andersson, a chemist belonging to Medicon Village has created a product that could contribute in transforming vaccines into different versions.
The product is a thin, plastic inhaler, half the size of a matchbox, and Anderson’s team is anticipating that this product could change the game, allowing people to take a powdered version of the vaccine to their home.
Moreover, Johan Wiborg, CEO of Iconovo has shared her views and stated, “It’s easy and cheap to produce, and you just remove a little plastic slip and then the vaccine inhaler is activated and you just put it in your mouth, take a deep breath and inhale.”
The company is known for producing inhalers for asthma patients and is now collaborating with an immunology research team in Stockholm, ISR, which has formed a dry-powder vaccine against Covid-19.
The product utilizes manufactured Covid-19 virus proteins (unlike Pfizer, Moderna, and Astra Zeneca and can endure temperatures up to 40C, which is a significant contrast to the requirements of the liquid form coronavirus vaccines endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The liquid vaccines are required to be stored in solid glass bottles and kept in temperatures as low as -70C. The temperature has to be maintained while being transferred to fridges, or they lose effectiveness, which is identified as the cold chain.
ISR’s founder and a professor of immunology at the Karolinska Institute, Ola Winquist said “the game-changer is that you could distribute the [powder] vaccine extremely easily without the cold chain, and it can be administered without the requirement for healthcare providers.”
It is still a long journey for ISR and Iconovo, to complete their trial and get the vaccine approved by WHO.
Presently, the vaccine has been only tested on mice, and the companies raised enough funding to commence studies on humans by the following two months.
Air-drying Liquid Vaccines?
Amongst the trials and studies upon powdered vaccines, there is an emergence of new technology by Swartling Peterson.
Ziccum is experimenting with a technology created to air-dry existing or anticipated liquid vaccines in a form that doesn’t restrict their effectiveness.
This technology could make it simpler to set up equipment in developing countries, enabling them to finish the final stages of vaccine production on their land.
The vaccine powder would be mixed with a sterile water solution just before immunization, and then injected using vials and needles.
Göran Conradsson, the CEO of the company assures that this technology will be effective for other forms of vaccines in the future from nasal sprays to pills. “It requires a lot of research and development for that. But in principle, yes.”
The benefits of new forms of vaccines :
The technology of air-drying current vaccines can have the potential to ease distribution, administration, and compliance of future vaccines.
Powder technologies can also provide an alternative to those who are scared of needles. They can also allow a greener option to liquid vaccines by reducing the electricity required to power the fridges and freezers, where the liquid vaccines are stored. It could boost global vaccine coverage.
According to Mr. Conradsson , No-one’s safe until everyone is safe. You never know what’s going to happen if you [still] have the coronavirus going around somewhere in the part of the world.
Ingrid Kromann, a spokesperson for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (Cepi), a global non-profit organization working to accelerate the development of vaccines added on, “We have to be able to get vaccines to populations in all settings to tackle epidemics and pandemics globally.”
Kormann also mentioned that powder-based vaccines are still at the initial stage of development and there is a lot of work left such as the manufacturing and delivery process.
However, if these technologies become successful, they can lead to greater access to vaccines with more limited wastage, and lower expenses of vaccination programs.