A vaccine patch has recently been developed by researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. They hope that this patch will replace the more conventional needle approach. Each patch contains 100 microneedles that are only 0.65mm in length. Depending on the situation, these needles would be packed with a specific vaccine. After penetrating the initial layer of skin, the needles dissolve on contact.
To test the efficacy of the patch, researchers took three groups of mice. One group was given an influenza vaccine via needle, another group via patch, and a control group was given the vaccine-less patch. After three months results suggest that the patch produced a more effective immune response in mice. The groups finding were published in Nature Medicine.
If further efficacy trials are successful, this could have major implications on modern medicine. It would represent the end of an age in which medical training is a requirement to deliver vaccines. Administering vaccinations would become a simple do-it-yourself procedure.