COVID-19 vaccines: From nasal drops to a redesign, what 2023 could have in store – CBS News

by | Jan 9, 2023 | COVID-19

Several vaccine companies say they are expecting breakthroughs as early as this year as they pursue new ways to protect people against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.The Food and Drug Administration is set to convene a panel of its outside vaccine advisers later this month to weigh key issues over the future of COVID-19 vaccines, including when and how to greenlight new boosters and changes to which strain the vaccines target.Here’s a peek at some of what’s expected this year for the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines.

New vaccines by nose or mouthSeveral companies have been pursuing approaches that could offer better protection against infections themselves, instead of merely blunting the severity of the disease. Potential vaccines to build this kind of “mucosal immunity” aim to bring antibodies to fend off the virus at the sites where it first enters the body, through vaccines that could be taken through drops, sprays or pills.

A few of these vaccines have been licensed in other countries, but none in the U.S. — and the data behind them isn’t robust, said Dr. John Beigel, associate director for clinical research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Even if Congress had granted the Biden administration’s request to pour resources into developing potential next-generation mucosal vaccines to broad clinical trials, Beigel said it would be challenging to “pick the winners” for government backing. Scientists have ways of measuring the immune responses after mucosal vaccines, like they do with the current shots. But they don’t necessarily know how those numbers will actually translate into real-world protection against the disease.Different companies have researched mucosal vaccines for COVID, but the data is small and fragmented, Beigel said, using different methods and benchmarks. This makes it difficult for …

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