Introducing a Flu Vaccine You Give Yourself

Photo Credit: Purdue University

Photo Credit: Purdue University

What if getting a flu vaccine no longer involved getting a shot?

Researchers at Georgia State University have spent the past few years working on a microneedle patch that dissolves into the skin for patients to easily and painlessly self-administer vaccines. Now, they’ve developed a flu vaccine using the system that, when tested on mice, proved to be 100 percent effective more than a year after the mice were vaccinated.

As they report in the September 2013 issue of the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, the influenza vaccine uses dry virus-like particles (VLP) instead of a liquid with the dead or attenuated virus. The VLPs coat the micronneedle patch alongside a stabilizing agent, so that the patches won’t necessarily need to be refrigerated.

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