Have new aerosol Covid-19 vaccines that can vaccinate people against their will been developed?

By September 28, 2023 COVID-19, Science, Vaccine

We’ve seen this claim on messaging groups and on social media:

According to this claim, Yale University have developed an intranasal mRNA vaccine that can be used to vaccinate unwilling individuals through an “aerosol” delivery system. Media accompanying this claim such as videos and illustrations (such as the examples above) appear to suggest that the vaccine would be inhaled from the air after being sprayed or released.

This claim was sparked by the recent release of a paper by a team from Yale University. In it, researchers describe their successful attempt to deliver an “intranasal SARS-CoV-2 vaccine” to mice, concluding that this delivery system has potential to be used for human vaccine applications.

However, as they have since clarified to Reuters and as is apparent after reading the paper, no human testing has taken place and the intranasal vaccines were “directly aspirated” into the nose of the mice rather than sprayed near them. There is also no research to suggest that the vaccine would be viable or effective if released at a distance from the nose.

The study therefore neither “developed” an intranasal covid vaccine for humans, nor a method of delivering vaccines without consent through aerosol diffusion.

Further, intranasal vaccines are not a new area of study. Before the release of this paper, teams of researchers from Germany, and other research groups have published separate work on intranasal Covid vaccines, exploring how this delivery system could be an effective immunisation tool and gradually progressing to human trials. Approved versions of intranasal Covid vaccines have also been rolled out in India and China since 2022.In all the above cases, intranasal vaccines have only ever been delivered directly into the nose – the vaccine being delivered deep into the right area in the correct amount is a vital part of its effectiveness.

This claim ignores the established characteristics of intranasal vaccines in favour of suggesting an unrealistic scenario where the vaccine can be inhaled through the nose from the air. It does so to support the further notion that this can be used to forcefully vaccinate unwilling individuals – with some going as far as to suggest this will be done en masse in public settings. We therefore give it a rating of False.

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