Flu vaccine patch proves effective in early trials

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A dissolving, microneedle vaccine delivery system can safely produce robust immune responses to influenza, according to the results of a phase 1 clinical trial published in The Lancet.

For the trial, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta enrolled 100 nonpregnant adults aged 18 to 49 years. The participants were divided into four randomized cohorts: vaccination with microneedle patch administered by a healthcare provider; self-administered vaccination with microneedle patch; intramuscular vaccine injection administered by a healthcare provider; and a placebo group.

All participants who received a vaccine demonstrated comparable antibody responses. The microneedle patch was well tolerated with few adverse reactions. Researchers found no significant difference in outcomes between those who self-administered the patch and those administered a patch by a healthcare provider.  

"This bandage-strip sized patch of painless and dissolvable needles can transform how we get vaccinated," said Roderic Pettigrew, PhD, MD, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the study. "A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered."

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