China Turns To Inhalable COVID Vaccines

China began rolling out its inhalable COVID vaccines, a new precedent in vaccine distribution. The vaccine is everything that the title claims it to be — it is simply a mist sucked in through the mouth.

This vaccine has several benefits. Researchers believe that needle-free vaccines would make the process easier in parts of the country, especially those with less developed health systems and procedures. In addition, it removes the stigma associated with getting a shot. 

This new rollout is part of China’s plan to spread its booster shots to a vast portion of the public. Once this distribution is completed, China will begin relaxing its pandemic restrictions. As of mid-October, 90% of Chinese citizens were vaccinated. 

One of the first vaccine takers described the procedure as drinking a cup of milk tea, saying that it tasted sweet. While this certainly is a more pleasant experience for the general public, experts believe that the benefits are more potent than the prior vaccines. The vaccine is taken in a way that could help battle the virus more efficiently before it reaches the rest of the body, and the larger droplets would train the defenses in the mouth and throat. 

Other nations have also looked into implementing a needle-free approach. Indian agencies have approved a nasal vaccine that has yet to be widely distributed. This vaccine is developed in the US but is licensed to the Bharat Biotech company, and instead of being inhaled, it is simply squirted in the nose. Several other nasal vaccines are being tested around the globe as well. 

The vaccine is developed by the pharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics, who mentions that more vaccines will be rolling out in Taejon on Nov. 10. They have also given additional details about the vaccine. The test takes about 20 seconds, in which the aerosol vaccine is given as a mist. The vaccine is then inhaled, and the recipients must hold their breath for five seconds. Currently, this vaccine is only available to those over 18 and will not be given to those with certain conditions. The Chinese Communist party hopes that this vaccine will help combat the extreme spread of COVID-19 that the country has experienced. 

China approved this vaccine in September 2022. Since the rollout of the vaccine, China’s stocks have increased by a significant amount. The market is surging in the hopes of letting down travel restrictions. The shares in CanSino’s Biology rose to 70% in Hong Kong, and the mainland China-listed shares surged. Cansino mentioned that they had not anticipated this surge in stocks, given the country’s prior vaccination history. The market significantly rose after the unverified claims that Beijing was going to establish a roadmap to loosen the restrictions on travel and lockdown imposed on more populated parts of the nation. 

As the vaccine continues to roll out, the country hopes to release its restrictions soon. The vaccine test will continue, and experts will monitor the entire population to see any significant trends. This trend is also being mimicked in other largely populated countries, where this pioneering strategy will be tested.