July 11, 2017 – Vaccine at Home


Anchor lead: A new band aid kind of patch may soon improve vaccination rates, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Are you phobic about needles and injections? Many people are, especially children, so a new vaccine technology reported recently in the Lancet that looks like a band aid and painlessly vaccinates people against the flu is welcome indeed. Andrew Pekosz, an expert in virally transmitted diseases at Johns Hopkins, says the advantages are many.

Pekosz: It also basically takes away the need of a health care worker because after a couple of quick instructions, apply the patch directly to your own skin at your own leisure.  In the paper they really emphasize the fact that it really gets rid of this issue of biohazard waste. We know that when you have this needle you have to get rid of it someplace safely so no one gets access and gets stuck or anything like that. This generates huge amounts of waste. In this case basically everything gets dissolved away and you’re left with a little piece of tape you can just throw into the regular trash.   :29

The vaccine also does not require cold storage, so it can be employed in remote areas and developing countries. Pekosz says not every vaccine would be suitable for this technology, but hopes that many will. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.