Flu Vaccine Delivered in a Dissolvable Patch Is a Pain-Free Alternative

Instead of a shot, the flu vaccine could be available as a bandage-like patch.

June 28, 2017 3:38 pm
Measles vaccination
Do you need a measles booster shot? (Flickr.)(Getty Images)

Parents may not have to fight with their kids over getting a flu shot.

A tiny, dissolvable patch would be a pain-free alternative to an injection for flu vaccines, but just as effective. Researchers evaluated the self-administered treatment as a way of delivering the flu vaccine in a new study.

A close-up of the microneedle vaccine patch, which almost two-third of participants preferred to traditional injections. (Lancet)

The patch uses an array of 100 microneedles to deliver the medication, which enters the body as the small needles dissolve over 20 minutes. Such techniques are already used for cosmetic treatments like Botox, but it’s the first time it’s been looked at for health care, according to The Guardian.

Researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine found that two-thirds of patients preferred the patch to an injection. They published the results of their findings the Lancet Tuesday.

The innovative treatment method is a cheaper alternative to injections and doesn’t produce dangerous waste. Microneedle arrays don’t need to be refrigerated like vaccines, so they’re much more stable, too. That’s a huge boon to providing vaccinations in developing countries.

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