vaccine patch

 

Do you find yourself putting off the Flu jab because of your fear of needles? An estimate 20% percent of the population has a fear of needle or getting “shots”, and a further 20% of those people avoid medical treatments due to their fears.

An alternative form of a jab has been designed by researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and the Emory University. Composed of a patch with and adhesive side with microneedles, it can be self-applied and is completely painless. The micro-needles resembles hair more than needles themselves.

“If you zoom in under the microscope what you’ll see are microscopically small needles,” lead researcher Mark Prausnitz told the BBC. “They puncture painlessly into the skin.”

When placed on the skin, the microneedles begin to dissolve taking up to 20 minutes. The vaccine is absorbed into the upper layer of the skin. In the trial of 100 participants, redness was observed for a few days in the area the patch was applied for some participants, but it was recorded as a large reduction in pain compared to the traditional needle, as well as the participant being entirely immunised.

If this patch gets approval, an industry could be revolutionised. Doctor practices could be freed up during flu seasons so more people who need help can receive it. It could potentially be bought in stores or mailed to people in remote areas to be self-applied and safely disposed of.

“We could envisage vaccination at home, in the workplace or even via mail distribution,” said Emory’s Nadine Rouphael, speaking to the BBC.

“With the micro-needle patch, you could pick it up at the store and take it home, put it on your skin for a few minutes, peel it off and dispose of it safely, because the micro-needles have dissolved away,” Prausnitz said in a press release.

“The patches can also be stored outside the refrigerator, so you could even mail them to people,” Prausnitz added

Original article here

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