The effort to get a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a UGA researcher is nearing completion. While the vaccine was shipped in early October, a manufacturing delay means the start of human trials is scheduled for early next year.
Dr. Biao He is a professor of infectious diseases at UGA’s Vet School. He has worked on vaccine development for some 20 years.
“The most important thing is do no harm. We’re using the vaccine on healthy people, so you want to make sure everything we do is by the book and very safe. The facility requirement for producing the vaccine is not something a university can handle, so we have to go to a specialized manufacturer.”
His vaccine platform differs from those requiring two-dose injections, instead, users will receive a one-dose nasal spray.
“Our vaccine is like the flu mist. So there’s another flu vaccine that you don’t do injections, some of you have gotten it. Essentially, you have a nasal spray, you have some kind of liquid going into your nose, so for people who don’t like needles, of course, that’s good news.”
He has worked on modifying the Kennel Cough vaccine used as a base for his current vaccine for years. Doses of that vaccine sell for as little as three dollars.
You can hear more from our discussion with Dr. He on this week’s edition of Athens News Matters.