CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is now getting started with its nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. It's one of three locations participating.
The hospital is looking for 15 to 20 people to enroll in the trial, which involves 10 visits over the span of 12 months.
This vaccine is administered through a single dose of one spray in each nostril. There are no needles involved like the vaccines available now.
The nasal spray vaccine may have a big impact. According to the Ohio Department of Health, nearly half the population in the state of Ohio is not yet fully vaccinated.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo specializes in Infectious Diseases at OhioHealth. He said that "initially in our state of Ohio we had many very ambitious people who wanted the vaccine. All those people have received those vaccines. For people who are afraid of needles, having any type of vaccine, something you could put in the nose, would be much more acceptable to them."
Dr. Paul Spearman, director of division of infectious diseases with Cincinnati Childrens’ Hospital, says the nasal spray vaccine has the potential to curb the pandemic.
"We're excited about the potential of the vaccine to really protect at the very site where the virus usually comes into your body."
Clinical trials are about to begin here. Dr. Spearman says he hopes to have their first enrollment this week.
"We need to find individuals who have not yet had a COVID vaccine and also have not had COVID itself in order to best test this new vaccine,” Dr. Spearman said. “So that's a bit of a tricky population to find now as you can imagine.
“We have heard from individuals who want to participate in our trial and who have sort of a needle phobia."
While the vaccine is needle-free, the study requires blood work in order to gauge immune response and the development of antibodies.
Dr. Spearman explained, "once it was out for general use, then you wouldn't have all the blood draws that we have in the trial."
The best way to register for the trail is online at https://redcap.research.cchmc.org/surveys/index.php?s=HDRAN4PAYD. Applicants will answer a series of questions and Cincinanti Children's will contact those who are a fit for the trial.
Volunteers will be compensated $975 for their time.
"I certainly hope we can entice some local folks who have not yet had a COVID vaccine to come help us evaluate this," Dr. Spearman said.