A small clinical study will explore the effects of delivering the vaccines to the airways.
Imperial researchers are set to begin trials to assess the safety and effectiveness of two of the UK’s coronavirus vaccines in development, when inhaled into the lungs.
The clinical team will compare COVID-19 vaccine candidates being developed by both Imperial College London and Oxford University, delivering the vaccines directly to the respiratory tract of human volunteers, by inhalation through the mouth.
The UKRI-NIHR funded research, led by Dr Chris Chiu, head of the Imperial Network for Vaccine Research, aims to assess the safety and efficacy of administering the vaccines as airborne droplets inhaled by a volunteer, rather than an injection into muscle.
The hope is that directly targeting the cells lining the airways – the typical point of infection for respiratory viruses – may induce a more effective immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This could potentially accelerate the development of effective vaccines against COVID-19 by exploring additional delivery methods and targets.
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