STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists developed an alternative to flu vaccines which will make needlephobes rejoice. They created a patch which works like a plaster, and is as effective against influenza as any shot. Also, it has no side effects and can be used by anybody.
The patch has micro-needles which deliver the vaccine
The team of scientists from Georgia Tech have been testing this patch since June 2015. Participants were aged between 18 and 49 and, in order to be suitable for the trials, they needn’t have received a flu shot in the previous year.
The patch isn’t completely needle-free, but you shouldn’t worry. It as a hundred micro-needles, but they are as tiny as hair follicles and deliver no sting. Patients need to stick it on their skin, and the needles deliver the immunization shot directly into the skin. You don’t even have to go to the doctor, and you’re safe from the flu.
This type of immunization is cheaper and more accessible
Mark Prausnitz, one of the main scientists who worked on the vaccine, said that they devised this type of ‘needled’ patch to make vaccines more accessible. Also, apart from no longer having to visit a medical professional to get a flu shot, this vaccination alternative brings no adverse effects as itchiness or redness so typical of traditional shots.
This vaccine alternative is also economic. You can administer it yourself, and you can choose to transport it with you wherever you go, without needing to refrigerate it. The patch can be safely sent to other people as well and, after use, it can be thrown away anywhere, since the micro-needles have dissolved and it poses no biological hazard.
This immunization method might be practical and easy to administer yourself, but the most important thing about it is another one. It is effective. Scientists compared the responses of the antibodies in patients who received both patches and intramuscular vaccines, and found them similar. Also, these responses were present in the patch group even after six months.
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