Image copyright Mary-Claire King Image caption Coronavirus survivors believe the vaccine would save them
The US Food and Drug Administration has cleared an experimental vaccine for children from the Middle East who have contracted the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The agency said the Coronavirus Vaccine was safe and well-tolerated.
The active ingredient is part of a nasal spray form of a virus-derived vaccine developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
The firm says a US test is in the planning stages.
An estimated 500 people a year are infected with MERS – a severe form of respiratory illness which killed 133 people in Saudi Arabia in 2016.
The drug makers said human trials are under way in Egypt, and that the current batches that have been tested for safety and immune responses are the most advanced.
Final immunogenicity tests are also being performed for the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and GSK-led antibody immunotherapeutic combination vaccine option.
Image copyright Google Image caption Antibodies are the body’s defence system
The companies said they have not “seen a single case of serious adverse event in any trial” of these combination vaccines.
The Coronavirus Vaccine is manufactured in a form that is about the size of a grain of rice, and a form that gets into mucus.
One of the main benefits of the nasal spray form is that it is easier to administer than traditional injectable versions, as it is usually delivered by going directly into the nose through the nose.
So far there have been no cases of MERS virus that can be transmitted to humans from animals, and it has no relation to bird flu.
However, its emergence in the Middle East has sparked concern among some medical experts.