Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Painless Vaccinations

Branching off of my prior post dealing with vaccinations, I have found that there is a new method of vaccination in the works. This new method is called a microneedle vaccine patch. 

As can be seen from the picture above, the vaccine patch is very small. Believe it or not, this small little patch can be coated with the vaccine of choice and still be as effective as the traditional "shot" method. This patch is placed on the skin and is kept there for about 5 minutes. Unlike getting a shot, this method is relatively painless and requires very little skill to administer. The production patches will probable look less like a microchip and look more like a Bandaid.

 You can't really see them, but there really are needles in that white square!

While it is probably a few years out, this new method could revolutionize the way we think about vaccination. The common complaint is that people are afraid of needles and this is the reason why they do not get vaccinated. As a result, the rest of us have to suffer with people sniffling and sneezing around us. With this new method, what is there to be afraid of? I predict that this microneedle method will cause a jump in the amount of people vaccinated every year. This means less sniffling, less sneezing, and an overall better environment to live in.


Be able to sneeze without sounding ridiculous. That means neither stifling yourself or spraying your immediate vicinity.
-Marilyn vos Savant

Additional Reading:

Maria del Pilar Martin, William C. Weldon, Vladimir G. Zarnitsyn, Dimitrios G. Koutsonanos, Hamed Akbari, Ioanna Skountzou, Joshy Jacob, Mark R. Prausnitz, and Richard W. Compans. Local Response to Microneedle-Based Influenza Immunization in the Skin. mBio, March/April 2012