Scared Of Needles? This New Flu Patch Will Make Your Day
If you avoid your annual flu shot because of a needle phobia, you're in luck. Thanks to a few innovative researchers, you can get your flu vaccine in the form of a press-on patch.
Made of a hundred tiny, hair-like microneedles, the patch is said to offer the same protection as a regular vaccine without the pain.
How It Works
Instead of injecting through to the muscle, the microneedles puncture the uppermost layers of skin.
"If you zoom in under the microscope what you'll see are microscopically small needles," lead researcher Professor Mark Prausnitz said. "They puncture painlessly into the skin."
According to instructor Daisy Bourassa, the patch was "really simple" to use.
"It's kind of like a band-aid almost," Bourassa said. "It's not like a shot at all. If I had to describe it is maybe like pressing down on the hard side of Velcro. It is like a bunch of little teeny tiny stick things that you can feel, but it's not painful."
"I think it would be fantastic if this was something you could get and administer it yourself at home," Bourassa added. "The reason why many years I don't get a shot is that I don't have time to wait in a line or whatever. It would be really awesome if I could order it and it would be delivered like Amazon Prime."
During its trial phase, 100 participants volunteered to try the new vaccine.
"The results were great," Dr. Nadine Rouphael told NBC News. "We were pleased to see that the immune response was excellent."
And unlike the normal flu vaccine, the patch doesn't need to be kept in the fridge, which could make Bourassa's Amazon Prime idea a reality.
"It is also really neat how you can keep it at room temperature," Rouphael said. "It really simplifies the way we do vaccines. This could be a game-changer."