US Pharm. 2014;39(4):62.

A new type of single-dose vaccine that comes in a nasal spray and does not require refrigeration might protect more people around the world against emerging and re-emerging diseases. Last month, researchers in Dallas presented the latest design and testing of these “nanovaccines” at the 247th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

According to the project’s leader, Balaji Narasimhan, PhD, “Our nanovaccine approach could be instrumental for containing future outbreaks of recently emerged and reemerging diseases, such as SARS, new flu strains, and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.”

Dr. Narasimhan noted that most current vaccines require needles, boosters, and refrigeration, which present challenges for doctors and patients. Combined with the pain factor, the required follow-up shots and refrigeration further reduce the reach of important preventive treatments, especially in remote areas where refrigeration is not available.  

“Our nanovaccines can be stored at room temperature for as long as 6 to 10 months and still work,” said Dr. Narasimhan, professor of chemical engineering at Iowa State University. “Also, we’re designing them so they get delivered in one dose through a nasal spray, which could potentially allow patients to give the vaccine to themselves.”