Do-it-yourself patch could replace annual flu jab

A flu vaccine skin patch that could one day replace traditional jabs
A flu vaccine skin patch that could one day replace traditional jabs
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A patch has been developed which could replace traditional flu jabs each autumn.

The new technology could lead to people immunising themselves against flu at home and would reduce dangerous waste from hypodermic needles.

The patch looks like a plaster and is worn by patients for 20 minutes on the wrist while microneedles which contain the immunisation dissolve.

It was subject of a study published in the Lancet of 100 people in the United States with 70% preferring the patch to a traditional injection.

Dr Nadine Rouphael, lead author of the study, said: “Despite the recommendation for adults and children to receive a flu shot, many people remain unvaccinated. Dissolvable microneedle patches could potentially simplify the delivery of influenza vaccines.

“The patch could ... be safely applied by participants themselves, meaning we could envisage vaccination at home, in the work place, or even via mail.”