Drugmakers studying how to administer COVID-19 vaccines without a needle

Katie Adams - Print  | 

Pharmaceutical companies are exploring ways to deliver vaccines without a needle by investigating new delivery methods such as patches, dissolving implants, electrical-pulse systems, nasal sprays and pills, according to a March 3 report from The Wall Street Journal.

The companies are exploring the possibility of needleless vaccine delivery to mitigate the challenges the current vaccine delivery system poses, such as long waits, ultracold freezing logistics and training personnel to perform needle injections. If these efforts are successful, they could create a reality in which patients can administer vaccines from their own homes, according to the Journal.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Vaxess Technologies told the Journal it is developing a combination COVID-19 and influenza vaccine patch designed so that patients can administer it yearly from their own homes. Vaxxas, also based in Cambridge, Mass., said it is developing vaccine patch technology as well. 

Oxfordshire, England-based Enesi Pharma is working on a device that painlessly implants vaccines under patients' skin. Another approach is being pioneered by global health nonprofit PATH in which vaccines are freeze-dried and turned into lozenges that can dissolve under patients' tongues, according to the Journal.

Codagenix, a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based company, is developing its own single-dose COVID-19 vaccine designed to squirt up the nose. The vaccine candidate is being studied in a small, phase 1 clinical trial in London, according to the Journal.

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