This Painless Skin Patch Could Be A Promising Flu Vaccine In The Future

First Posted: Jun 29, 2017 06:11 AM EDT

A clinical trial has been conducted to test a painless skin patch that delivers flu vaccine into the skin shows promising results. It has passed the safety test without serious side effects.

The results of the clinical trial were described in the medical journal Lancet. It was led by Dr. Nadine Rouphael, an associate professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, and other colleagues. They also collaborated with the scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, according to CNN.

Dr. Rouphael described the skin patch with microneedles as small and could barely see them. She said that the microneedles are minuscule to not cause as much pain as a traditional flu shot. On the other hand, they were linked with itchiness at the injection site in the trial.

Regarding its efficacy, it could induce the same immune response to the regular flu shot, according to Dr. Rouphael. The skin patch has the similar type of vaccine that is found in traditional needle and syringe. On the other hand, it is placed in the minute needles in the patch, which is about the size of standard plaster. It has 100 microneedles with the vaccine that dissolves after delivering a dose.

The clinical trial involves 100 people in the United States. The patch was applied onto their wrists. The results showed that people who had the patch found it less painful. On the other hand, there were more likely to get redness and itching, according to NHS.

About 96 percent of adults who had the patch reported no pain. Meanwhile, for the group that received the traditional flu -- 82 percent of them reported no pain.

After a 28-day follow-up, 70 percent of the participants who had the patch vaccine preferred the microneedle patch vaccination than the traditional flu or intranasal vaccination. Dr. Rouphael said that they plan to examine the new patch vaccine in children as well as with other types of vaccines beyond influenza. 

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