Inhalable measles vaccine and lozenge delivery system under development

Children may not be able to avoid the trip to the doctor, but they may soon be able to avoid getting a measles shot if a new vaccine makes it through human trials successfully.

The vaccine, according to South Africa's Independent newspaper, would be an inhalant. Rather than be injected with a syringe, a child would be able to breathe the vaccine from a bag.

"One of our primary goals is to get rid of needles and syringes, because they frighten some people, they hurt, can transmit diseases and there are issues with needle disposal," Professor Robert Sievers of the University of Colorado, where the research is being conducted, said.

Developers of the measles "bag vaccine" say, if approved, it would be a low-cost treatment. Researchers hope that vaccinations for other diseases, including tuberculosis and cervical cancer, could be treated with inhalants as opposed to needles, according to the Independent.

The measles vaccine has been in development for about five years, according to the report. It works by breathing in a bag filled with powder which goes straight to the bag-breather's lungs. The contents of the bag, according to the report, include fluid-stat carbon dioxide and a weakened form of the measles virus.

The newspaper reports that roughly 164,000 children die from measles every year. Along with the "bag vaccine," researchers at the University of Colorado are also developing a lozenge that would vaccinate for measles without the patient needing a shot.