A nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine co-developed by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been approved by the mainland authorities for emergency use.
An HKU spokesperson said in a statement that the nasal vaccine, developed by HKU in collaboration with Xiamen University and Wantai Pharmaceutical, is over 80 percent effective against the Omicron variants for those who are vaccinated.
However, it only has a 55 percent effectiveness for people who are unvaccinated.
The spokesperson added that vaccine has been found to be safe in clinical trials conducted not only in the SAR and the mainland, but also overseas.
“The vaccine has undergone phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials in the mainland, HKSAR, and overseas including South Africa, Vietnam, the Philippines and Colombia, independently,” he said.
Professor Yuen Kwok-yung from the HKU research team said unlike conventional jabs, the nasal vaccine can build immunity in the nasal and throat mucus membranes and block the coronavirus at its point of entry into the body.
Another member of the research team, Chen Hong-lin, added that people who are previously reluctant to get the shots may find the nasal vaccine more acceptable.
“The nasal vaccine is particularly acceptable to persons who are afraid of needles such as children. All we need is a syringe with a special tip to produce a mist and does not require an inhalation device,” he said.
It is understood that the team has not applied to the SAR government for the vaccine to be adopted in Hong Kong.