A disposable skin patch with micro needles can safely deliver influenza vaccines to the body, eliminating the need for painful injections, scientists said on Wednesday after successfully completing human trials. The skin patch can be self-administered and stored without refrigeration, making it significantly cheaper than traditional vaccines, researchers said. It can also be easily transported and disposed after use.
Researchers, including those from Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, conducted a clinical trial and found that influenza vaccination using Band-Aid-like patches with dissolvable micro needles was safe and well tolerated by participants.
The study , published in ‘The Lancet’ journal, showed that it was just as effective in generating immunity against influenza, and was strongly preferred by study participants over vaccination with a hypodermic needle and syringe, researchers said.
“Despite the recommendation of universal flu vaccination, influenza continues to be a major cause of illness leading to significant morbidity and mortality,” said Nadine Rouphael, associate professor at Emory University in the US. “Having the option of a flu vaccine that can be easily and painlessly self administered could increase coverage and protection by this important vaccine,” Rouphael said. Researchers found that vaccination with the micro needle patches was safe, with no adverse events reported. Local skin reactions to the patches were mostly faint redness and mild itching that lasted two to three days.