Could a nasal spray stop you catching Covid? £51 product available on Amazon stopped Jews getting virus at religious festival, study says

  • Worshippers who used a nasal spray at a mass gathering avoided Covid infection
  • Nasal spray, Taffix, coats the inside of the nose to stop the infection in its tracks
  • Researchers from makers of the nasal spray, Nasus Pharma, analyzed the effects

[F.D. – Taffix is not available in the U.S. but is sold over-the-counter in Israel, U.K., Slovenia, and more. The science behind the product is valid and early clinical trials are verifying its effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2. The directions need to be strictly followed for Taffix to give protection. (There is no reason to believe Taffix wouldn’t be effective against mutations as well.) I don’t know when Taffix will be available in the US but it’s being sold on eBay by sellers located in Israel and the UK. Let me quickly add purchasing offshore products has risks. In mother-speak – “you don’t know who these people are, where their stuff came from, or whether their ‘Taffix’ is really ‘Taffix”. Buyer beware.]


PUBLISHED: 07:18 EST, 19 February 2021 | UPDATED: 08:11 EST, 19 February 2021

A readily-available nasal spray may have prevented Jews from catching Covid at a religious festival in Israel last year, a study has suggested.  

The £51 spray, sold in a pack of four, called Taffix, is said to coat the inside of the nose in an acidic powder that makes it difficult for viral particles to penetrate.

The densely populated city of Bney Brak, four miles (6.3km) east of Tel Aviv, saw its infection rate soar from 18 percent of the population to 28 percent following the Jewish new year last September.

But among a small group of Orthodox Jews who were given the nasal spray, which is available in the UK on Amazon, none contracted the disease.

Makers of the nasal spray, Nasus Pharma, along with scientists from the University of Haifa and the University of Virginia looked at 243 people in total for the research. 

Of the 81 worshippers who agreed and used the spray correctly every five hours, none got infected. In the rest of the group, 16 did, including two who didn’t follow the proper dosing regimen. 

Despite not being subject to the same rigour as a controlled scientific study, it provides one of the largest real-world tests of the sprays – which some scientists believe could play an important role in fighting the pandemic.  

However, the researchers warned the nasal spray is not a substitution for face masks or social isolation and should be used as an ‘addition’.

 Jewish worshippers pray in an outdoor synagogue amid the pandemic ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, on September 17, 2020 in Bnei Brak, Israel

Jewish worshippers pray in an outdoor synagogue amid the pandemic ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, on September 17, 2020 in Bnei Brak, Israel.

Taffix is available to buy on Amazon and from the company’s website with a box of four nasal sprays, each containing around 200 pumps, costing £51. 

It recommends people ‘use a few minutes prior to entering public spaces’ and claims to block 97 per cent of airborne viruses in the nasal cavity – the air-filled space inside the nose.

Public health officials grew increasingly concerned about the risk of Covid last September when the Rosh Hashanah holiday approached.

They were particularly concerned about the Orthodox Jewish community. 

CEO of Nasus Pharma Dalia Megiddo told The Times: ‘This is a community that has different priorities and values. 

‘Although the government tried to explain and to enlist opinion leaders, it was very clear they were going to go to the synagogue come what may. So we said, ‘OK, this is going to be a super-spreader event.’ 

Dr Megiddo enlisted the help of her colleagues and got in touch with the rabbi in Bney Brak to offer their spray at what was considered a ‘super-spreader event’. Dr Megiddo also said the volunteers could have been more diligent with hygiene while using the spray but said it was unlikely this could fully explain the findings. 

Meanwhile scientists at the University of Birmingham have been developing a nasal spray – which is currently unnamed – since April last year.

The nasal spray is made from ingredients already approved for medical use, meaning it does not need any further approval for use. 

He added: ‘As an over the shelf product, we have spoken to companies with a presence on the high street as we think they could distribute it effectively.

‘Our goal is to make an impact as soon as possible, we would really like to see this happen by summer.’

The spray prevents infection by capturing the virus in the nose and coating it. This means the virus cannot escape and renders the it inactive and harmless.

The researchers believe using the spray four times a day will be enough for general protection.

However, it is safe enough to be applied every 20 minutes if required, for example, if a user is in a high-risk environment.Jewish men and women suffered the highest death rates in the first wave of the pandemic in Britain

Jewish men and women suffered the highest death rates in the first wave of the pandemic in BritainResearchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found the rate of past infection in London's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was 64 per cent

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found the rate of past infection in London’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community was 64 percent.

The news comes after it was revealed that a virus lab at St Peter’s hospital, Surrey, announced they were trialling a spray which could kill 99.9% of the virus.

The SaNOtize Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray (NONS) is designed to kill the virus in the upper airways. This stops the virus from incubating in the lungs, according to the NHS.

It was developed by SaNOtize Research and Development Corp. based in Vancouver, Canada. In independent lab tests, they proved it was 99.9 percent effective in killing the virus.

Pankaj Sharma, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Research at Royal Holloway, said: ‘Any intervention for treating coronavirus – the virus responsible for Covid-19 – is to be welcomed.

‘The fact that a relatively easy and simple nasal spray could be an effective treatment is welcome news and offers a significant advance in our therapeutic armoury against this devastating disease.’

It comes as two-thirds of London’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community had Covid last year – nine times the national average and around 0.3 per cent of those infected died, a study has shown.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found the rate of past infection was at 64 per cent in the community of around 15,000 people.

This compares to rates of 11 per cent in London more generally and just seven per cent across the UK, according to estimates by the Office for National Statistics.

Suspected infections in the community peaked in early March, just before the first lockdown, when rates then began to fall sharply, before rising again in the autumn once restrictions were lifted.

The researchers say the reasons for such high rates of infection are unclear, but crowded housing and deprivation are thought to be contributing factors.

Ultra-Orthodox families have significantly larger households than the UK average – with five to six individuals per house compared to a UK average of 2.3 – and tend to live in areas of increased population density. 

Communal events and gatherings were regularly attended in pre-pandemic times, though there have been a number of high-profile breaches in recent weeks, too.

Israel Frey, an ultra-Orthodox journalist who has been critical of the community’s response to the pandemic, told the Jerusalem Post he does not see ‘even a gram’ of introspection or change in direction in the leadership’s attitude to the crisis.

Last month also saw the death of two of the most senior and revered ultra-Orthodox rabbis in the world – Rabbi Meshulam David Soloveitchik, 99, and Rabbi Yitzhak Scheiner, 98 – both of whom had previously being diagnosed with the virus.

A number of other religious leaders have fallen victim to Covid in Israel and the US, with funerals attended by thousands despite restrictions on gatherings, the JP reports.

It comes after the Mayor of Hackney has called on Orthodox Jews to stop holding massive weddings after a string of events breaking lockdown rules emerged.

Police broke up a 150-strong gathering in Stamford Hill, north London, at a strict Orthodox Charedi Jewish school last month.

Guests fled from the wedding held at Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School when police arrived at around 9.15pm, where some had covered up windows and closed gates to hide the celebrations.

The school’s former principal, Rabbi Avroham Pinter, died from coronavirus last spring, according to the Jewish News.

The publication also claims that at least 50 illegal Orthodox weddings have happened during lockdown.

The LSHTM study invited more than 1,750 people in the community to complete a demographic and medical information survey and provide a blood sample between November and early December 2020, which was then tested for antibodies. 

Blood samples from 1,242 individuals were collected, with an overall infection rate was of 64%, one of the highest recorded anywhere in the world.During the research, 697 people (37.5%) reported an illness they thought was consistent with COVID-19.

There were clear peaks in reported illness consistent with the first and second waves of the virus in the UK.

A total of 16 (0.9%) individuals reported hospitalisation for COVID-19 and a further three individuals were reported to have died of COVID-19.

Dr Michael Marks, who co-led the LSHTM study, said: ‘Our work has revealed the extremely high rates of infection in this very interconnected population.

‘Working in tandem with the community we are conducting further work to understand the potential factors involved. These findings could support potential new interventions that may help reduce infection in the community.’ 

Ethnic and religious minorities have been disproportionately affected by Covid throughout the pandemic, with deprivation, reduced ability to work from home and larger household sizes all thought to be contributing factors.

Researchers add that while attention in the UK has largely focused on the Afro-Caribbean and South Asian populations, data from Public Health England shows other minority groups have also been severely affected.

Jewish men aged over 65 years were found to have a rate of death twice as high as Christians, even after adjusting for socio-demographic factors.

‘As our survey was completed by early December 2020, prior to the subsequent surge in cases, it is likely that the overall burden of infection in this community is now even higher.

‘Whilst lockdown measures were still very effective at reducing transmission, over the course of 2020 three out of four secondary school-aged children and adults were still infected.

‘We would very much like to thank the community. It was a privilege to work directly with them, and think this community partnership approach could be a blueprint to further understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on other groups in the UK.’

The Office of the Chief Rabbi was approached for comment.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *