There is an urgent need to limit and stop the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic via quick development of efficient and safe vaccination methods. Plasmid DNA vaccines are one of the most remarkable vaccines that can be developed in a short term. pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co, which is a plasmid DNA vaccine, was designed to express severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. The produced antibodies lead to Immunoreactions against S protein, anti-receptor-binding-domain, and neutralizing action of pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co, as confirmed in a previous study. To promote the efficacy of the pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co vaccine, a pyro-drive jet injector (PJI) was employed. PJI is an injection device that can adjust the injection pressure depending on various target tissues. Intradermally-adjusted PJI demonstrated that pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co vaccine injection caused a strong production of anti-S protein antibodies, triggered immunoreactions and neutralizing actions against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, a high dose of pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co intradermal injection via PJI did not cause any serious disorders in the rat model. Finally, virus infection challenge in mice, confirmed that intradermally immunized (via PJI) mice were potently protected from COVID-19 infection. Thus, pVAX1-SARS-CoV2-co intradermal injection via PJI is a safe and promising vaccination method to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competing Interest Statement
The Department of Device Application for Molecular Therapeutics is a joint research department supported by Daicel Co. The Department of Health Development and Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine is an endowed department supported by Anges, Daicel and FunPep. R.I, J.M., and K.Y. are employees of FunPep Co., Takara Bio Inc., and Daicel Co. respectively. All other authors declare no competing interest.