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Micro-needle Patch

September 14, 2009

A new vaccine skin patch could change how we get our shots.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Ouchless vaccines. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

No one looks forward to getting their shots. But a newly developed micro-needle patch could soon make vaccination painless. Georgia Tech researcher Mark Prausnitz says the small vaccine-infused patches adhere to the skin, and some models even dissolve after the vaccine has been delivered. His team gave flu vaccine to mice, and found that the patch protected just as well as hypodermic needles. He says a major goal is to develop a flu vaccine patch that could be widely distributed in the case of a pandemic.

MARK PRAUSNITZ (Georgia Tech):
If you could move from the needle and syringe to something simple like the micro-needle patch, then you could have minimally trained personnel brought in to carry out those vaccinations and you could much more rapidly and efficiently give the vaccine.

HIRSHON:
He and his colleagues hope the patch will be widely available within five years. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.