Two Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca) have now been approved and the mass rollout is well underway. Over 1.3 million Brits have already received a jab and it has just come to light that another vaccine is being developed – although this one won’t involve injections…
Scientists at Swansea University are currently producing a vaccine ‘smart patch’ as another option for immunisations against Covid-19. The disposable device is made of silicone and uses microneedles to administer the vaccine while also measuring the body’s immune response. The patch would be secured to each patient’s arm for up to 24 hours and would then be scanned to provide a data reading for researchers monitoring its efficacy.
According to the scientists, the skin patch will be just as effective as the current vaccines and will provide additional support for potential outbreaks in the future. They will also be an alternative for those afraid of needles as “they do not penetrate as deeply into the skin.” The project received both Welsh and European funding and a prototype is set to be complete by the end of March. It will then be submitted for clinical trials which may take up to three years to complete.
Read more: https://secretldn.com/covid-vaccine-patch/
Under the skin of intradermal vaccines
Needleless vaccines may immunize patients more efficiently and effectively than injections. But are these new technologies ready for prime time?
At a makeshift clinic in southern Cambodia, with cows lazing on the dirt outside, children take turns sitting in a blue plastic chair, bracing themselves for the sharp pain of a measles vaccine injection. However, time and time again, the children barely flinch, let alone cry. Throughout the morning, more than 200 children are vaccinated. The key to the efficient and tearless vaccination: no needles necessary.
In this scene captured on video during a Cambodian measles vaccination program, a device called a jet injector shoots a high-speed jet of the drug into the skin. Unlike a typical needle syringe that sticks all of the way into muscle, this device never punctures the skin. The jet injector is just one of a number of technologies being developed to deliver vaccines to patients without using painful muscle-piercing needles: everything from patches with tens of thousands of microscopic needles that painlessly perforate the skin, to ultrasound pulses that temporarily “open” the skin for drug delivery, to special concoctions of drugs engineered to seep into the skin.
Read more: https://www.pnas.org/content/110/25/10049