Nasal vaccines promise to stop the COVID-19 virus before it gets to the lungs—an immunologist explains how they work

Research scientist with gloves holding blood sample on glass in laboratory. Biology doctor analyzing plasma dna for medical discovery in pharmaceutical industry. Science equipment on desk

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines have played a large role in preventing deaths and severe infections from COVID-19. But researchers are still in the process of developing alternative approaches to vaccines to improve their effectiveness, including how they’re administered. Immunologist and microbiologist Michael W. Russell of the University at Buffalo explains how nasal vaccines work, and where they are in the development pipeline.

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