Powdered Measles Vaccine is Safe, Shows Promise
A powdered measles vaccine could be available soon. Researchers from the University of Colorado reported that their vaccine has been safe so far and has not caused any serious side effects.
The powdered vaccine comes in a package that holds one dose. To use it, all people have to do is take a puff of air. To test the vaccine, the researchers headed by Robert Sievers, a fellow at CU's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies recruited 60 healthy male adults who already developed immunity to measles.
The researchers found that the vaccine did not cause any negative side effects. It can also be stored for six months at room temperature. In a refrigerator, the vaccine can lasts for four years. The current vaccine comes dried and must be mixed with water before being used. Since they come in multi-dose vials, they can go bad overnight. When compared to the traditional vaccine, the powdered one is a lot less wasteful. Not having a needle can also be a plus.
"There are lots of us who don't like to admit that we're afraid of them, but if you give me a choice, I'd be happy to take an inhalable vaccine any time over a needle," Sievers stated according to the Denver Post.
Despite immunization efforts, measles killed 122,000 people in 2012. Researchers believe that with more innovative ideas, this number can fall drastically.
"It's a very, very infectious disease and we still have several hundred people dying every day from a measles-related disease," Sievers said. "You'd think we've gotta get past this somehow or another, and why are we still having this problem?"
The study was published in the journal, Vaccine.