Painless vaccination without a needle

Painless vaccination without a needle

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New instrument developed: vaccinations without needles are possible

It had been reported years ago that vaccinations without a needle could be possible in the future. Researchers from Australia have now actually succeeded in developing an instrument that can be used to vaccinate painlessly. Another advantage: This also significantly reduces costs.

Painless vaccination

Vaccinations are an extremely effective remedy for various infectious diseases. So far, a needle has always been connected to vaccination. But years ago, scientists reported that it might be possible to administer vaccines through the skin in the future. And now researchers from Australia have actually succeeded in developing an instrument that can be used to vaccinate painlessly. It also has the advantage of dramatically reducing costs because no cold chain is needed for the vaccine.

No cooling necessary

As the Australian-New Zealand University Association / Ranke-Heinemann Institute reports, researchers at the University of Sydney are testing the marketability of a device that could cause major unrest in the $ 30 billion vaccination business.

According to the information, the peculiarity of the product is that no needles are used when vaccinating and thus the need to store the vaccines in a cool place is eliminated.

The instrument is a chip, a "MAP" or "Micro-projection Array Patch". This is only one square centimeter made of biomedical polymer material and is therefore smaller than a postage stamp.

Embedded in it are 5,000 micro-projections wrapped in vaccine, which transport the vaccines directly through the outermost layer of the skin to thousands of skin cells.

The result is a more efficient vaccination, which does not require vaccine cooling, as is the case with the needle and syringe method.

Much cheaper

As the release says, the patch is being marketed by the Australian company Vaxxas.

The research is carried out by the University of Sydney and the Innovative Manufactoring Cooperative Research Center.

"Providing vaccines using this technology is much cheaper and easier than liquid vaccines that need to be stored in a cool place," said University of Sydney Cristyn Davies in a statement.

"This would be a crucial advantage in remote areas, such as developing countries, where refrigerators for vaccines are not always available."

Cristyn Davies, Professor Rachel Skinner from the University of Sydney, Professor Robert Booy from Sydney Medical School and Professor Behnam Fahimnia from Sydney Business School are responsible for the development of the instrument.

The researchers are testing the acceptance of the use of this patch by patients and doctors and evaluating the cost-benefit factor compared to the conventional method using a needle and syringe.

Vaccination rate could go up

The innovative patch could also cause the vaccination rate to increase. Because at least ten percent of the respondents said they should avoid flu vaccinations because they fear the needle.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 1.3 million deaths a year are due to needle injuries and the resulting contamination.

The patch is applied to the skin using an applicator, which contains the product and guarantees reliable delivery of the vaccines.

According to the information, the company Vaxxas carried out a study supported by the WHO in 2015, which examined the use and the tolerance of the applicator for vaccinations against polio in Benin, Nepal and Vietnam.

According to Davies, this study provided valuable information and also indicated that the product had great potential.

Tests for different age groups

The company plans to develop and market the patch for Australia. "Our research focuses on how it is perceived by patients and users," explains Davies.

"What the manufacturers of vaccines hope for from the use of the patch and its acceptance by the patients, and also the manufacturers, differs dramatically from the situation in developing countries," says Professor Rachel Skinner.

"We will test the patch in different situations and for different age groups, at the workplace and with general practitioners," explains Professor Booy.

The results are compared to the results of previous WHO studies to assess the requirements in different markets. (ad)

Author and source information

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