July 10, 2017 – Microneedle Vaccine
Anchor lead: Can a band aid like patch replace needles in vaccination? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Imagine getting your flu immunization each year without an injection, painlessly, and on your own schedule. That’s the promise of a new band aid like technology recently reported in the Lancet. Andrew Pekosz, an expert in diseases transmitted by viruses at Johns Hopkins, comments.
Pekosz: A lot of people hate needles, and this patch is a way to give rather a large dose of vaccine in a way that is minimizing that fear of a needle coming coming in. It also serves a second purpose. Turns out that when you give vaccines into the skin the body tends to react to them faster and generate even stronger immune responses than when you put it into the muscle. The reason you don’t get your normal flu vaccines that way is because using a needle to inject into the skin is a very tough process and it takes a very skilled clinician to do that. :33
Pekosz predicts that many more viruses in addition to influenza will be amenable to this type of vaccination, which he calls potentially a game changer. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.