New Flu Vaccine: No More Needles?

By: Toni Matthews-El - March 3, 2014

It’s not an easy thing to own up to, but a lot of people are afraid of needles. The dreaded “shot” has kept many an adult out of the doctor’s office. Even as we tell sobbing little kids that it’s important to get flu vaccinations to prevent illness, how many have passed on the opportunity themselves?

Now it’s finally looking like the nightmare may be over for those with a needle phobia.

A patch is being developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology that may make it possible to take care of flu vaccinations entirely on your own. The researchers found subjects were successfully able to apply the flu patch to themselves with little instruction.

Surprise, surprise: The subjects also stated that they preferred the patch to a needle in the arm.

Mark Prausnitz, a professor of biomolecular engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says that his team dreams of flu vaccine patches that are readily available in stores or by mail for persons to have and apply themselves.

“We want to get more people vaccinated, and we want to relieve health care professionals from the burden of giving these millions of vaccinations.”

This burden is a greater reality than many Americans realize. It’s not uncommon for vaccines to “run out”, making them unavailable for the most vulnerable members of the population who need them—children and the elderly.

The patch features 50 tiny needles (don’t faint, they’re actually very small…) that barely break the surface of the skin.

The study is meant to demonstrate that this method of administration has greater possibilities than the traditional shot administered in doctor’s offices and at pharmacies.

There is additional evidence that suggests this method may also be more effective at protecting from the flu than a shot.

Those of us that utterly despise needles and are seeking any and every alternative no doubt are hoping for more research and funding that will allow this considerably less scary alternative to become the new vaccination standard.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Toni Matthews-El

About the Author

Toni Matthews-ElToni Matthews-El hails from the land of chunked pumpkins and people who come to a complete stop before making any and every turn. When she isn't contributing articles to WebProNews, she spends her time freelance writing, cheering Liverpool FC, and enjoying life as a hair flower connoisseur. Disclaimer: Written opinions do not necessarily reflect that of WebProNews or its affiliates

View all posts by Toni Matthews-El
  • JustWondering

    Yeah, but Is it a live vaccine? I can’t have those.

    • Dave49

      I didn’t think there was any such thing as a live virus vaccine.

      • threadysparrow .

        Actually I think there is because they use a chemical that denatures the DNA inside of the virus so the virus attacks your body but does not have anything in it. In any case, I think the best way to get the vaccine right now is still using a needle. In the developing world, needles are cheap and effective and will probably be the commonly used form for many years.

      • Heart

        There’s a lot of vaccines with live attenuated virus like MMR, Yellow fever, rotavirus, Chicken pox and oral polio vax.

        • JustWondering

          Thank you Heart. Also the nasal flu mist. People who get these vaxes shed the virus for a certain period time after receiving them. And people who have certain immune conditions, such as CVID, should avoid live attenuated vaxes, as well as close contact with those who have recently received those vaxes.

          • JustWondering

            Ooops, I wanted to add that I checked more on the patch vax mentioned in the article, and it doesn’t appear to use a live attenuated virus.

  • HealthyOne

    Good lord!!

  • Medic

    Had the Flu shot 1977,got sick from it.Never had the flu shot again & never had the flu.My wife has never had a flu shot & never had the flu.We are in our 50’s

  • carter hall

    A patch sounds great. Having it mailed to my home from the government just for me………? I would never trust nor use it. I want the same shot as everyone else thank you. Not one the government makes just for me.

    We shouldn’t even need to give our names. Just get a shot and pay the pharmacist.
    MK Ultra much?