Jul 19, 2010 8:15 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Microneedles may make getting flu shots easier

Researchers developing a new method of vaccine delivery are hoping that one day, people will get their annual flu shots in the mail.

Researchers say the new method of vaccine delivery involves a patch with microneedles. They're so small they can't even be felt. 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.

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


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