The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering recently released study results rthat indicate people would be more likely to receive a flu shot using a patch embedded with microneedles, as opposed to traditional methods.
The research team was led by Mark Prausnitz from the Georgia Institute of Technology. The team reported that approximately 100 adults participated in the study, and most said they would receive a vaccination if it was administered through a patch.
Attached to the patch are 50 microneedles, which administer the vaccination when pressed to the skin. Study participants reported a pain level of 1.5 on a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being the highest. The pain rating of an intramuscular injection was reported at 15.
The study showed that most participants were able to apply and properly administer the vaccine on themselves on the first try.
The vaccination patch is smaller than traditional flu vaccine supplies and does not require refrigeration. Researchers suggested the vaccine could be shipped via mail or be available outside of healthcare settings.
Researchers said the ability to self-administer the vaccination has the potential to significantly increase the rate of immunization. Of the study participants who did not receive a flu vaccination, 38 percent said they would if they were able to self-administer.
Clinical trials for the patch vaccination method will being in 2015, with the goal of making the patches available within five years.