Pain-Free Vaccines May be Coming
August 20, 2012
Getting vaccines can be stressful for kids -- and their parents. But with a new needle-free patch, getting your kid his shots may soon be easy and painless. Researchers at universities, government labs, and drug companies are all working to make needle-free vaccines in the form of a patch, NBC News reports.
Needle-free vaccines have been used before, like nasal sprays and oral, but patches are a new frontier. Today’s technology makes creating needle-free vaccines easier than ever, and the Food and Drug Administration has permitted some researchers to begin testing their vaccines on people, NBC New reports.
Infectious Disease Research Institute President Dr. Steven Reed says that the patch device, which is covered with miniature blades that scratch and pierce the first layer of skin, “is incredibly small. You can’t even see it. You just feel a little pressure — nothing else.” The vaccine is delivered to dendritic cells that then distribute the vaccine throughout the body. The device is applied to the skin with a needle-free syringe that is easy enough to use at home. This means that parents could potentially receive their children’s vaccines in the mail and administer themselves.
Georgia Tech is working now to create polio and flu vaccines in the form of a patch, which dissolves after use. These needle-free vaccines would cost less and be easier to make than traditional flu vaccines, which take months to produce. Doctors also believe that the ease of needle-free vaccines will encourage more parents to vaccinate their children.
Would you welcome a needle-free vaccine? Leave a comment.