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Chinese Scientists Developing Inhalable COVID Vaccine

Volunteers and workers bury the body of a COVID-19 victim in Chennai, India, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP Photo/R. Parthibhan)
Volunteers and workers bury the body of a COVID-19 victim in Chennai, India, Saturday, June 5, 2021. (AP Photo/R. Parthibhan)

Chinese state media report that scientists are developing an inhalable, fine-mist COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chinese Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for expanded clinical trials and is applying for emergency use of the vaccine.

Also in China, Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use for young people between the ages of 3 and 17, the company’s chairman, Yin Weidong, said on state television Friday. China’s current vaccination program is restricted to those 18 and older.

As Afghanistan attempts to beat back a surge in COVID cases, it has received the news that the 3 million doses of vaccines it was expecting from the World Health Organization in April will not arrive until August, according to the Associated Press.

Afghan health ministry spokesperson Ghulam Dastigir Nazari told AP that he has approached several embassies for help but has not received any vaccines. “We are in the middle of a crisis,” he said.

On Saturday, India’s health ministry reported 120,529 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24-hours period, the lowest daily count of new infections in 58 days. More than 3,000 deaths were also recorded.

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency Friday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

The decision follows similar approvals by U.S. and European Union regulators.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the news Friday and said he will wait for clinical advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization regarding how the vaccine should be administered. He said Britain should have enough supply of the vaccine to inoculate the nation’s adolescents.

Meanwhile, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday urged parents of adolescents in the United States to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible, following the release of a CDC report showing a spike in hospitalizations among 12- to 17-year-olds between January and April.

The study indicated one-third of those hospitalizations were intensive care patients and 5% of those patients had to be put on ventilators. Walensky said the figures saddened her and show that even young patients can get seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported early Saturday more than 172 million global COVID infections. The U.S. has the most cases with 33.3 million, followed by India with 28.7 million and Brazil with nearly 17 million.