Currently, two vaccine trials conducted for COVID-19 are showing promising results and may be available within a few months or the start of the next year. However, a group of scientists is also currently carrying out another test for a potential DIY vaccine for coronavirus, which may also be as effective as the commercial vaccines.
More specifically, a group of immunology-specialists from Harvard University, who are also known as Radvac or the ‘Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative’ is working on a formula for a vaccine which is not only easy to the user in comparison with traditional vaccines but can also be delivered by mail and be mixed, prepared and used by spraying into the nasal cavity at home by the receivers.
In fact, the team of scientists led by Preston Estep are not only a part of the development but have also directly tested the new potential formula on themselves before a formal trial which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The team is hopeful that the formula is not only easy to use and innovation but can also be highly effective. Additionally, they state that the advantages of having the vaccine are far more than any noted adverse effects.
George Church, who is a geneticist at the Wyss Institute, talked about the DIY vaccine for coronavirus in an interview with MIT Technology Review, saying “I think we are at a much bigger risk from COVID considering how many ways you can get it, and how highly variable the consequences are,”
However, since many institutes and universities are conducting trials for multiple coronavirus vaccines around the world, why is there a need for a nasal vaccine for the virus?
The scientists who are a part of Radvac believe that even though some of the trials are reporting positive results, they may still require a lot of time to conclude and mass-produce the formula in order to launch it in the market.
With the high rates of coronavirus transmission in the US, the time taken for vaccines to be developed may further increase the number of new cases in the country. In addition, the challenges would not stop once the vaccine has been developed and launched in the market.
The distribution of the vaccine may even be more difficult and it may take a lot of time for the vast majority to get vaccinated against the virus. With simpler vaccines that are easy to deliver, there can be a solution to the problem of distribution and usage.
At the same time, it should also be noted that there is no vigorous scientific research conducted for the DIY vaccine for coronavirus and it will also take a lot of time to determine its effectiveness.
Secondly, it should also be noted that Radvac may struggle to observe the efficacy of the vaccine while they are also practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, and following other preventive measures. In addition, it may also be hard to test for coronavirus antibodies as the DIY vaccine is used via the nasal passage and not directly into the blood.
In case the vaccine does prove to be effective and is launched in the market, it can significantly help in controlling the ongoing pandemic.