WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental flu vaccine patch with dissolving microneedles appears safe and effective, according to research published online June 27 in The Lancet.
The study of 100 adults found that the patch triggered a strong immune response and did not cause any serious side effects. At most, some patients developed local skin reactions to the patches, which involved faint redness and mild itching that lasted two to three days.
"This bandage-strip sized patch of painless and dissolvable needles can transform how we get vaccinated," Roderic Pettigrew, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U.S. National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, which funded the study, said in an institute news release. "A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered. In addition, this technology holds promise for delivering other vaccines in the future."
"These early findings suggest the emergence of a promising new option for seasonal vaccination," write the authors of an accompanying editorial. "The more exciting features of the microneedle patch are its low cost, safety, and storage aspects. Microneedle patches have the potential to become ideal candidates for vaccination programs, not only in poorly resourced settings, but also for individuals who currently prefer not to get vaccinated."
Several authors are inventors on licensed patents and have ownership interest in companies developing microneedle products.
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