A flu vaccine could soon be administered using a painless patch

Added 19/07/2010

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When it comes to vaccinations, people cringe at the thought of painful injections and so many of us have a fear of needles. But a new vaccine patch could pave the way for pain-free vaccinations.


Made up of hundreds of dissolvable micro needles, the patch has currently been tested on mice to administer the flu vaccine. The new vaccine patch is a totally pain-free method of immunisation — perfect for needle haters. When the patch is applied to the skin, the micro needles simply dissolve without the recipient feeling a thing.


The patch would also solve the problem of the need to safely dispose of needles. After the vaccine patch is used, it can just be thrown away in an ordinary bin.


Around the world, the vaccine patch would be welcomed, particularly in developing countries where needles are often reused, spreading other diseases such as HIV.


Without the need for hypodermic needles, people will be able to administer the flu vaccine themselves. And if there is a pandemic, the vaccine could be distributed more quickly and in larger quantities.


Currently the patch has only been tested using the flu vaccine, but it shouldn’t be long before other vaccinations will be tested. Vaccine patches have still only been tested on mice, but studies involving humans should get underway over the next couple of years.


The studies of the patch on mice have demonstrated the product’s effectiveness. Scientists have even found that the vaccine patch was more effective at keeping the influenza virus at bay than the ordinary hypodermic needle method.


The vaccine patch should revolutionise the way we are immunised. There’s talk that vaccine patches could be ordered and picked up from pharmacies, or even delivered in the post, making them a convenient alternative to booking an appointment with a nurse.


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