The Chinese vaccine for COVID-19 is administered in a transparent plastic cup over which you have to lean, then insert a special nozzle into your mouth. After a slow inhalation, you have to hold your breath for five seconds. The whole procedure takes 20 seconds.
“It was like drinking a cup of tea with milk,” – said one of the vaccinated men in an official government video promoting the vaccination. “When I inhaled it, I felt a sweet taste,” – he added.
Needle-free vaccines under study
The efficacy of needle-free vaccines has not yet been confirmed worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, more than a dozen intranasal vaccines are currently being tested.
Chinese regulators approved its own inhaled vaccine in September, but only as a booster dose for people who had previously received two injections of another Chinese vaccine. China uses domestic vaccines, mainly two inactivated vaccines, which have proven effective in preventing death and serious complications, but less so in stopping the spread of the disease compared to the effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer.
COVID-19 vaccine as inhalation
A new form of COVID-19 vaccine would open up new possibilities, according to researchers. Inhalation vaccine researchers hope that ‘needle-free’ vaccines will be more readily available in countries with less well-functioning healthcare systems, as they will be easier to administer. They may also be more readily accepted by people who are afraid of needles and injections.
Zero COVID policy in China
Pandemic restrictions are still in place in China. Travel around the country is difficult and small outbreaks carry the risk of lockdown. According to many Chinese, tired of the restrictions and the obligation to constantly test, the restrictions are holding back the economy. The Chinese government has said it will consider relaxing the strict pandemic restrictions if more people receive booster doses.