Novel Pain-Free Immunization of a Combination Microparticulate Vaccine for COVID-19 and Influenza
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COVID-19, Infectious Diseases, Influenza, Nanoparticles, Non-invasive vaccination, Vaccines
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TitleNovel Pain-Free Immunization of a Combination Microparticulate Vaccine for COVID-19 and Influenza
AbstractSevere Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Influenza are contagious respiratory viruses that can only be effectively prevented by vaccination. Both COVID-19 and Influenza have previously caused Pandemics that have significantly affected the well-being of people globally. Although there are several approved vaccines for both diseases, the limitations and shortcomings of these vaccines are why there is constant research for developing a better vaccine. The current vaccines are primarily painful and non-patient-friendly intramuscular injections, resulting in vaccine hesitancy in children and older adults. IM injections also require trained healthcare professionals for vaccine administration, contributing to the workforce's burden. There is also a requirement to store these vaccines in a cold temperature setting to preserve the life of these biologicals. However, such conditions pose an issue during the transportation and distribution of these vaccines worldwide. Developing and underdeveloped countries are affected by such limitations in storage and distribution. All these factors lead to declining vaccination rates and an increase in the frequency of the emerging mutant strains. Considering all these factors, we tested an inactivated microparticulate vaccine for COVID-19 and a combination microparticulate vaccine for COVID-19 and Influenza. Utilizing a microparticle matrix to encapsulate the vaccine antigen protects the antigen from degradation. Additionally, particle-based vaccines are being investigated for stability at various temperatures, including room temperature. The vaccine was tested via different non-invasive routes such as transdermal using microneedles, buccal using oral dissolving films, and intranasal route to minimize or eliminate pain during vaccination. First, the microparticle vaccines were prepared, characterized, and assessed in vitro for their immunogenicity, cytotoxicity, autophagy, and antigen presentation. Next, the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and the inactivated combination SARS-CoV-2-Influenza vaccine were tested in vivo in a preclinical mouse model and evaluated for immunogenicity and efficacy upon administration to mice. The study's results are summarized in this dissertation and clearly show that non-invasive vaccination strategies can induce effective immune responses in mice. A microparticle vaccine approach can solve multiple problems in vaccine development, distribution, storage, and administration when combined with a non-invasive vaccination strategy. However, like every vaccine, novel vaccination strategies warrant further investigation.