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News Link • Vaccines and Vaccinations

Microneedles may make getting flu shots easier

• Randolph E. Schmid via Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON – One day your annual flu shot could come in the mail.

At least that's the hope of researchers developing a new method of vaccine delivery that people could even use at home: a patch with microneedles.

Microneedles?

That's right, tiny little needles so small you don't even feel them. Attached to a patch like a Band-Aid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine.

Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in Sunday's edition of Nature Medicine.

The business side of the patch feels like fine sandpaper, he said. In tests of microneedles without vaccine, people rated the discomfort at one-tenth to one-twentieth that of getting a standard injection, he said. Nearly everyone said it was painless.

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