Highlights

  • China probably first to roll-out inhalable Covid vaccine
  • Vaccine in form of a mist which is inhaled through mouth
  • Developed by CanSino Biologics; approved in Sept 2022

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China becomes first to roll-out 'needle-free' Covid vaccine which is inhaled through mouth

After slowly inhaling, people are supposed to hold their breath for five seconds, and the entire procedure concludes in around 20 seconds.

China has started administering Covid vaccines which are inhaled through the mouth. This is possibly the world's first roll-out of an inhalable Covid vaccine.

The vaccine is in the form of a mist that is sucked in through the mouth. After slowly inhaling, people are supposed to hold their breath for five seconds, and the entire procedure concludes in around 20 seconds.

One recipient was quoted as saying that the vaccine tasted "a bit sweet", and it was like "drinking a cup of milk tea". The vaccine is being offered for free as a booster dose for previously vaccinated people in the Chinese city of Shanghai.

It was developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics Inc. Chinese regulators approved the vaccine for use as a booster in September 2022.

Such 'needle-free' vaccines are expected to help increase vaccination rates. These would be more accessible in countries with fragile health systems as they are easier to administer. Also, people who don't like getting a shot in the arm would be willing to get inoculated through inhalable vaccines.

Regulators in India have approved a nasal vaccine which is squirted in the nose, but it has yet to be rolled out. The vaccine was developed in the US and licensed to Indian vaccine-manufacturer Bharat Biotech.

(With PTI inputs)

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