Today’s Solutions: October 05, 2022

The problem with any potential Covid-19 vaccine is that they are difficult to distribute in low-income and rural areas. Fortunately, researchers from Columbia University may have an effective alternative in the form of a nasal spray.

The spray is a lipopeptide (a lipid and peptide combination) that stops the coronavirus from fusing with a target cell’s membrane by blocking a key protein from adopting a necessary shape. It works immediately, lasts for at least 24 hours, and is affordable. Most importantly, it doesn’t need refrigeration, which is a big barrier for transporting vaccines to rural areas.

In tests so far, the researchers say it has successfully prevented COVID-19 infections in ferrets as well as a 3D model of human lungs. However, before the nasal spray reaches the public, the researchers still need to conduct human trials and figure out how to scale up the production of the spray.

Moving forward, the researchers are planning to “rapidly advance” further testing in order to deliver the nasal spray to parts of the world where mass COVID-19 vaccinations would be difficult.

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