Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed a flu patch they believe will not only cost less, but also increase the number of people actually getting the vaccination.
The patches can be administered right at home, which means people won’t have to take time away from their busy schedules to visit a doctor’s office.
It is useful to point out, that the patches are not completely needle free. They each have an array of 50 miniscule pricks that just barely pierce the skin.
As part of a study, researchers tested individuals to see how well they self-administered a dummy patch and were also given a saline syringe injection. Most did perfectly fine and claimed the pain was minimal, with researchers reporting 76% preferred the patch to the injection.
Another study by the same group using mice, found the patches were just as effective as a flu shot via injection.
A professor of biomolecular engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology stated ‘Our dream is that each year there would be flu vaccine patches available in stores or sent by mail for people to self-administer…. We want to get more people vaccinated, and we want to relieve health care professionals from the burden of giving these millions of vaccinations.’