Would you rather get a vaccine in your arm or in your nose?

While vaccinations are definitely something we recommend, not everyone is a fan of getting jabbed. For anyone suffering from trypanophobia (a fear of needles), getting your vaccine shot can be a traumatic experience. In fact, at the site where I was vaccinated, a woman had to be carted off in a wheelchair before she’d even seen the needle, as she was so scared she’d begun to hyperventilate.

But now, thanks to new research by scientists at Mie University, needles may be a thing of the past when it comes to the coronavirus vaccine.

Professor Tetsuya Nozaka from Mie University’s Graduate School of Infectious Disease Control and Medicine announced a new coronavirus vaccine is being developed that can be administered through a nose spray, eliminating the need for needles at all.

“The vaccine can be sprayed through both nostrils, and the appropriate antibodies will be produced,” he said.

▼ Looks like we might not be needing that needle after all.

The spray vaccine, which has been in development since March 2020, can be stored for at least six months, and Professor Nozaka hopes the vaccine will be used as a booster shot. He also added that the initial animal testing stages had produced positive results.

“The vaccine’s effectiveness surprised even us,” the professor said, adding that the chance of any side effects like a fever are “extremely low”.

Seems almost too good to be true, right? Well, the professor is facing a pretty steep challenge when it comes to rolling out the vaccine spray.

It will cost 10 billion yen (roughly US$9.1 million) to commercialize this vaccine,” the professor admitted in an interview. “But we need to think about how to use that budget. If possible, I’d like to see this spray used not only in Japan, but worldwide as soon as possible, and especially in developing countries.” The professor added that he’s hoping the spray vaccine will be put to use within two years.

Japanese netizens had very positive reactions to Professor Nozaka’s announcement, despite the hefty price tag attached to it.

“10 billion yen, huh… well, we spent more on the Olympics, so the government can pay for this, surely?”
“If this turns out to be true, go ahead and use all my taxes for it.”
“I’m not sure if it’ll be the ‘best in the world’ or not, but if it’s effective enough for humans and can be put to practical use, I think it’ll be great. I hope they can find the funding for it.”
“If this works, it’ll be great in suppressing the spread of the disease, because I think we’ll be dealing with corona for a long time yet. It’s going to cost the government an arm and a leg for a long time though.”

Fingers crossed that the nasal spray is as effective as Professor Nozaka promises. Let’s just hope there isn’t anyone suffering with a phobia of having things put up their nose.

Source: CBC News via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Flickr // Marco Verch Professional Photographer 
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