Soon, a Pain-Free Patch May Replace Flu Shots

Flu attacks are common and they take a toll on your immunity. It allows the virus to invade your body and damage the healthy cells. The treatment mostly depends on how well your body is able to fight back. Health experts often suggest that you must get yourself injected with Influenza vaccines, more commonly known as flu shots or jabs, that provide protection against the influenza viruses. These vaccines help your body develop antibodies about two weeks after vaccination that protect you against infection with the viruses. A group of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, are now working on creating a pain-less patch that can help people self-administer the vaccine with the press of a thumb.

As of today, these vaccines are injected with the help of needles and they need to be taken yearly as they tend to become ineffective. According to this new study, published in the renowned journal The Lancet, the whole process can be made much simpler with a flu patch. The study reveals details about the first clinical trial of the flu jab patch conducted by the researchers.

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The flu patch contains about 100 tiny hair-like micro-needles on its adhesive side that penetrate the surface of the skin and deliver the vaccine by simply placing it on the wrist and leaving it for 20 minutes. These needles tend to dissolve into your skin and are water soluble.

For trial, 100 people were divided into four groups. The first group received the patch from a healthcare professional, the second group used it one their own, the third group were injected with traditional shots and the last group was given the patch with a placebo. The study concluded that
providing vaccination using these patches resulted in robust immunologic responses whether administered by health care workers or by the participants themselves. These micro-needle patches are low-priced, durable and can be easily stored. Researchers believe that they can be effective alternatives to the traditional influenza vaccines.

The phase one of the FDA trial has regards the flu patch as safe but with some minor side effects. More trial will be conducted over the year before deciding to release them for public use.

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