Regulators in China approved a COVID-19 vaccine mist for use as a booster dose, making it the first alternative to injectable vaccines used during the pandemic.
The inhaled vaccine contains the same ingredients as the jabs used in China, but a nebulizer machine turns it from liquid into an aerosol spray.
Similar to the COVID-19 vaccines used in the US, CanSino's formulation contains pieces of genetic material so the body can recognize the virus.
The single-dose CanSino shot is about 92 percent effective at preventing severe disease due to COVID-19, and about 58 percent effective at preventing illness entirely, according to data reported by the World Health Organization.
The nasal mist may bolster protection in the lining of the nose and upper airways, where the virus typically enters the body, according to the press release.
Other vaccines have been repackaged as mists before, such as the FluMist intranasal vaccine seen in pediatricians' offices every flu season.
Inhaled vaccines provide a needle-free alternative for kids and adults alike, but evidence from past flu seasons has shown that the mist doesn't always achieve the same level of efficacy as a shot.
Only time will tell if the mistable COVID vaccine provides enough booster protection to be approved and widely distributed in other countries.
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