China launches COVID-19 vaccine that can be taken orally

The Chinese city of Shanghai began administering an inhalable vaccine against COVID-19 on Wednesday.

An inhaled oral spray is offered free of charge as a booster dose for those already vaccinated, according to an announcement posted on the city's official social media account.

Unnecessary vaccines can persuade people who oppose injections, as well as help expand vaccination in poor countries because they are easier to administer.

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A video released by Chinese state media shows several people at a community health center putting the beak of a translucent white glass in their mouths. The accompanying text said that after inhaling slowly, the person had to hold their breath for five seconds and the whole process was completed in 20 seconds.

"It was like drinking a cup of milk tea," a Shanghai resident said in the video. "When I smelled it, it tasted a little sweet."

There is no mandatory vaccination in China, but the government wants more people to receive booster shots before easing strict anti-pandemic measures that are holding back the economy and increasingly in tune with the rest of the world.

An oral vaccine can stop the virus before it reaches the rest of the respiratory system, although this depends in part on the size of the particles in the air, one expert said.

According to the World Health Organization, a dozen nasal vaccines are currently being tested worldwide.

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