UGA Researcher Nears Milestone in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Jul 21, 2021

A University of Georgia Researcher is approaching a breakthrough in his efforts to develop a second-generation COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Biao He was able to get his vaccine produced and testing done earlier this year, but the pandemic forced some measures to be postponed.

“So our community trial got postponed, and I’m glad to tell you right now, we got cleared by [the] FDA for community trial and we are hoping on July 26th, we will have the first patient in for the testing in the U.S.,” according to He.

Dr. Biao He.

So that's what we're shooting for, that if this nasal vaccine is successful, we will be able to prevent transmission of the virus within the population.

He’s vaccine is a one-dose nasal spray that does not require the same level of refrigeration that existing vaccines need. While current medications prevent severe disease and symptoms, they are not as effective at preventing transmission of coronavirus; compared to He’s second-generation vaccine which shows promising results.

“Most excitingly to us, the vaccine actually blocked the transmission among animals. So that’s what we’re shooting for, that if this nasal vaccine is successful, we will be able to prevent transmission of the virus within the population. That would be very, very exciting.”

Dr. Biao He is a professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.

You can find more information on the vaccine here.