When the first COVID-19 vaccines and boosters were announced, there were high expectations. When a cluster of breakthrough infections occurred among vaccinated players from the New York Yankees at the start of the season last year, it was puzzling to say the least.
What happened to the claims of vaccines being 90 percent effective? The players were vaccinated, why did they catch COVID? We eventually learned that the vaccines were doing their jobs– the symptoms were less severe, there were fewer hospitalizations and not as many infected people were dying. But the hype of eradicating COVID overshadowed some of these early successes.
Now, after a couple more waves of COVID, the latest being Omicron, scientists are studying the best way to fight future variants, with a goal of not just lessoning symptoms– but eradicating infections altogether.
How could this be accomplished? Some say a nasal spray is the way to go, because it could create immunity in the tissue that lines our airways. We have a nasal spray for flu, so why not COVID?
Others are not so sure — at least not yet. Ulysses Wu, MD, Hartford HealthCare’s Infectious Disease Medical Director, said not to expect a nasal spray anytime soon.
“I do tend to shy away from therapies that are not proven yet,” Wu said, adding that he doubts a nasal spray will be ready any time soon.
He added that he doesn’t like to offer false hope, like what happened last spring when the booster was hyped and then breakthroughs occurred across the nation.
So, while the future strategy in the fight against COVID remains unclear, Wu said one thing is certain – continue to wear masks indoors.
“Masking is always encouraged,” he said.