Intranasal version of AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine flunks trial

A scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow). Credit: NIAID-RML

Experts have theorized that mucosal vaccines, which could be administered nasally, orally or transdermally, could alter the trajectory of the pandemic. But a recent setback involving an intranasal version of AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 has dampened those hopes. 

A Phase 1 study published on Lancet’s eBioMedicine found that intranasal vaccination was detectable in a minority of participants. Intramuscular vaccination with the ChAdOx1 generally led to more robust systemic responses than the intranasal vaccine. 

The open-label partially-randomized study did find that participants had antigen-specific antibodies after receiving an intramuscular mRNA vaccination following the administration of the intranasal vaccination. 

The vaccine was well tolerated in the study.

Seven of the 42 volunteers in the t…

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AstraZeneca vaccine offers little protection against South Africa SARS-CoV-2 variant

The ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed between AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford is not effective against the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa, according to a recent study published in NEJM.

In a five-month study involving HIV-negative adults, 23 of 717 placebo recipients developed mild-to-moderate COVID-19 while 19 of 750 vaccine recipients did. Based on that data, the vaccine has an efficacy of 22% in protecting against mild-to-moderate disease in South Africa more than 14 days after the second dose. Efficacy against the B.1.351 variant specifically was 10.4%.

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