July 13, 2024 9:02 am
Close this search box.

Local News

University of Georgia Making Breakthrough on Nasal Spray Vaccine

Credit: iStock

Anzhe Zhang

Scientists at the University of Georgia (UGA) are pioneering a new type of COVID-19 vaccine, one that could be conveniently taken as a nasal spray, and they’re making progress fast. 

The coronavirus nasal spray is currently under clinical trial at the Infectious Disease Lab at UGA.

Dr. Biao He, the lead researcher behind the vaccine breakthrough, spoke about being “excited” with the development as he explained the basis behind developing a nasal spray vaccine to Channel 2 Action News.

“Since so many pathogens come through the respiratory tract, and the idea is, wouldn’t it be easier if we just immunize through the route of infection,” He explained.

He’s team first got the idea of a nasal spray from dogs, who were often treated through such a method for coughs, and from other nasal sprays used to vaccinate against diseases like influenza. It led to He and his team to wonder if creating a nasal spray vaccine for COVID-19 would encourage and make it easier for people to get vaccinated.

“I really feel we are very, very fortunate that what we are doing turned out to be very good and has a great practical application,” He said.

The vaccine is currently in phase two of its FDA-approved clinical trial. There are a total of four phases to be cleared before the FDA can verify both the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

“We began working on new vaccine formulations to combat COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic,” He said, “our preclinical data show that this vaccine not only protects against infection, but also significantly reduces the chances of transmission.”

Georgia Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Athens DA’s claim of open records exemption

In an upcoming ruling, Georgia’s Supreme Court will weigh in on a claim brought by Athens-Clarke District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, arguing that top prosecutors are exempt from the state’s open records laws. The case involves assertions that the trial court overlooked a constitutional provision in denying Gonzalez’s motion to dismiss an open records complaint, mirroring similar immunity arguments made by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a separate case related to the 2020 presidential election interference.

Georgia public colleges to expand admissions testing requirements for fall 2026

Georgia colleges are reverting to requiring standardized test scores for all new applicants, signaling a shift from pandemic-era policies. Beginning in fall 2026, institutions including Augusta University, The University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech will mandate SAT or ACT scores, a decision unanimously approved by the Georgia Board of Regents.

Water-hogging data centers flagged in latest ‘Dirty Dozen’ environmental watchdog report

In its annual report released on Thursday, the Georgia Water Coalition spotlighted the detrimental effects of record economic growth on the state’s waterways, particularly in the coastal region, where a surge in state-of-the-art data centers poses a significant threat to Georgia’s rivers. The report urges urgent action from public officials and residents to advocate for policies that safeguard natural resources crucial for clean drinking water and outdoor recreation, emphasizing the need for coordinated water planning to address mounting environmental pressures.