Nasal Spray That Blocks COVID-19 Could Be Available By Summer: Report

“If it could facilitate getting students back to school ... then that would be great.”
Young woman sprays a nasal bottle spray into the air.
Image Source/Getty Images

Scientists are completing work on a nasal spray that can prevent COVID-19 for up to two days and it could hit the market by summer, according to a new report.

The spray, being developed by scientists at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, catches the virus in the nose and covers it in a coating from which it can’t escape, The Telegraph reported.

That means someone using the spray could safely exhale because the virus would be harmless, the paper said. The scientists believe using it four times a day would be enough for general protection.

Dr. Richard Moakes, the study’s lead researcher, said with the widespread use of the spray, social distancing restrictions could be eased and its use could “get schools going again.”

“We think it will help in schools, as one of the good things about the formulation of the nasal spray is that it would not need to be reformulated for children,” Moakes told the Telegraph. “If it could facilitate getting students back to school, and education being re-established, then that would be great.”

According to the report, the nasal spray uses an antiviral agent called carrageenan, also used as a thickening agent in food, along with a solution called gellan, a gelling agent that when sprayed in the nose covers the surface and can catch viruses. The ingredients are already approved for medical use, The Telegraph noted.

“Based on the product, it will be much quicker to get to the user than a novel drug,” Moakes told the paper. “I am confident that the formulation can make an impact. Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible. We would really like to see this happen by summer.”

But as of now, it’s unclear if or when it could become available outside of the U.K.

The spray would soon other medicines used to stem the spread of the virus. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the first in the U.S., was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA) on Dec. 11. The FDA on Dec. 18 also approved Moderna’s EUA request. Both are already being distributed. Moderna said its data showed their vaccine was 95% effective in its late-stage clinical trial, the same as Pfizer’s.

The Moderna vaccine was developed in conjunction with the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. A key advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that it does not need sub-zero storage like Pfizer’s, which needs to be stored at -94 degrees.

A third vaccine, one developed by AstraZeneca and researchers at Oxford University, was approved Dec. 30 for emergency use in Britain.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Friday said that the United States is “real close” to approving another COVID-19 vaccine, the first one to use double-stranded DNA and be delivered in a single injection.

Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now working with the Biden administration, said on MSNBC that the new vaccine is just two weeks away from being approved.

“No more than two weeks from now the data will be analyzed in a similar fashion the way we analyzed it with the Moderna and the Pfizer candidate,” Fauci said. “That is an independent data and safety monitoring board.”

“We’ll look at the data, determine if it’s ready to be given to the company so that they can go to the FDA and ask to see if they can get an emergency use authorization.” Fauci added that he didn’t “want to get ahead of them but I have to tell you I would be surprised if it was any more than two weeks from now that the data will be analyzed and decisions would be made.”

Related: Fauci Says One Shot Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Coming Soon

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Nasal Spray That Blocks COVID-19 Could Be Available By Summer: Report