The Jeuns

‘Innovative Skin Patch for Vaccinations in Children’

May 1, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Children who are afraid of traditional vaccination shots may soon have a painless alternative in the form of a skin patch, according to researchers. Early trial results showed that over 90% of infants in Gambia were protected from measles and rubella after receiving a single vaccine dose through the patch, which contains microscopic needles that deliver the vaccine painlessly.

Dr. Ed Clarke, head of infant immunology at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, described the results as extremely promising and groundbreaking. He emphasized that vaccines can now be effectively administered to young children using microarray patch technology, with measles vaccines being a top priority.

The use of these patches could potentially revolutionize vaccination efforts in developing countries by making it easier to expand vaccine coverage. They are easier to transport, may not require cold storage, and do not necessarily need to be administered by healthcare professionals. Dr. Ikechukwu Adigweme, also with the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia, highlighted the potential of these patches in promoting vaccine equity among disadvantaged populations.

In developed countries like the United States, vaccine patches could offer more convenience and a pain-free option compared to traditional shots, potentially increasing immunization rates among children. This is especially important as the U.S. has seen a resurgence in measles outbreaks in recent years due to vaccine hesitancy.

Larger trials of the patches are in the works to further validate the results and gather more data. The researchers are optimistic about the potential of this technology and are looking forward to its impact on global vaccination efforts.

The study was published in The Lancet journal on April 29. For more information on measles, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers resources on their website.

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