A Novel Approach: Intranasal Vaccine Delivery


A vaccine developer discusses the benefits of this approach and the development behind them.

According to the CDC, an estimated 2 in 3 children and 1 in 4 adults have strong fears around needles. Vaccine hesitancy or in more severe cases, needle phobia, can prevent people from getting needed vaccines whether as a child or an adult.

For example, the CDC says that as many as 1 in 10 people may have delayed getting a COVID-19 vaccine due to this fear.

One potential solution can be an intranasal vaccine, which is delivered via the nasal passages as opposed to intramuscularly into the upper arm. Although not widely used today, these types of vaccines can be an alternative to traditional vaccines.

Intranasal vaccines are being developed to address a number of diseases and viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic led to more countries developing this modality. Currently, influenza vaccines are one area where intranasal vaccines are shown to be used more widely. Studies point to both intramuscular and nasal vaccine administration having a similar efficacy.

Blue Water Biotech CEO and Founder Joseph Hernandez, MSc, MBA, says there are certainly benefits using intranasal vaccines including not only the ease of delivery, especially in the pediatric population, or in cases where multiple vaccines are delivered, but also where the protection aligns.

“It [intranasal vaccines] creates mucosal immunity, effectively where you are secreting antibodies that are different than your standard Ig Gs [Immunoglobulin G] explains Hernandez. This approach is unique in how antibodies are developed and what is introduced into the body.
His company's lead intranasal vaccine candidate is BWV-201, which is a live-attenuated intranasal vaccine being developed for S pneumoniae-induced Acute Otitis Media (AOM) and pneumococcal pneumonia. Blue Water is planning to enter clinical trials with this vaccine candidate later this year.

Additionally, Blue Water is developing vaccines for other infectious diseases such as influenza, norovirus-rotavirus, monkeypox, and Marburg virus. Hernandez says the development of intranasal vaccines is dependent on the disease state they are working on. For example, their work on S pneumoniae-induced AOM and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is conducive to live-attenuated viruses and intranasal modality.

Contagion spoke to Hernandez who talked about the benefits of intranasal vaccines, the differences in developing them, and what the company’s vaccine pipeline entails.

To learn more about intranasal vaccines, check out our indexed articles we have done on this subject.

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