• The vaccine will come in a powdered form that could be inhaled
  • The dry vaccine could be administered without the need for a healthcare provider
  • The product can withstand up to 40 degrees Celsius

Researchers in Sweden are currently working on a new type of COVID-19 vaccine that allows people to take it via a plastic inhaler.

A team of scientists from Iconovo in Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden, are developing a COVID-19 vaccine enclosed in a thin, plastic inhaler. The team, led by chemist Ingemo Andersson, are hoping their product could give people access to powdered versions of their vaccines at home.

"It's easy and it's really cheap to produce," Johan Waborg, CEO of the firm developing the vaccine inhalers, said, according to BBC. "You just remove a little plastic slip and then the vaccine inhaler is activated and you just put it in your mouth, take a deep breath and inhale."

Iconovo is partnering with an immunology research startup called ISR in Stockholm which manufactured a dry-powder vaccine that can withstand up to 40 degrees Celsius. The powdered vaccine, which uses manufactured COVID-19 virus proteins, can also be administered at home, even without any healthcare provider present.

The research firm is now testing its product on the Beta variant, which was first detected in South Africa. Both Iconovo and ISR have only tested the product on mice, but are expected to begin clinical trials in humans within the next two months.

Health experts believe a powdered version of the vaccines could offer a “greener” alternative to liquid vaccines, which need electricity to store. They also believe it could be a vaccine option for people who are afraid of needles.

Vaccine hesitancy is prominent across the United States, with only 49.1% of the total population fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 56.8% of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A recent Gallup polling found that 80% of all unvaccinated individuals in the U.S. said they were unlikely to get the shot, even if 99% of new hospitalizations involve patients who have not received a vaccine shot.

This has prompted volunteer groups in a number of cities to hold a door-to-door campaign promoting coronavirus vaccinations. Some volunteer groups, such as those in Dallas, have also offered incentives, including free tickets to Six Flags and the Dallas Zoo, to individuals who get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Fox 4 News.

A Hong Kong study suggests people who received the BioNTech coronavirus vaccine had ten times as many antibodies as those who got Sinovac
A Hong Kong study suggests people who received the BioNTech coronavirus vaccine had ten times as many antibodies as those who got Sinovac AFP / Anthony WALLACE