The painless plaster, which contains tiny microscopic needles, could significantly improve the annual take-up for annual vaccinations, such as the flu jab, researchers believe.
She mooted a situation where, in the case of a flu pandemic, microneedle patches could be distributed en masse, offering individuals a method of vaccination that did not require to visit a doctor or clinic, which would risk exposure to the virus.
"These advantages could reduce the cost of the flu vaccine and potentially increase coverage".
"The vaccine is stored in the refrigerator, and the used needle must be disposed of in a safe manner". But a new study, the first to investigate injuries caused by participation in recreational yoga, suggests yoga injuries may be up to 10 times more common than previously thought.
"A particularly attractive feature is that this vaccination patch could be delivered in the mail and self-administered".
Mr Booy said when the patch hits the market it will likely have a significant impact on the number of people getting vaccinated.
Equipped with micro-needles, the patches vaccinated against influenza just as effectively as a standard flu jab, researchers reported in the medical journal The Lancet.
And more than 70 percent of people who received the patch reported they'd rather use it than get a shot or even use nasal flu spray. Twenty minutes later - after the microneedles dissolve and vaccine is released into the body - the patch is removed and can be thrown away like a used Band-Aid, he said. Side effects were limited to mild redness and swelling that lasted for a few days. In this study, people couldn't be blinded to whether they had the patch or the injection, but they didn't know whether they had the placebo vaccine or the real one. Antibody responses generated by the vaccine, as measured through analysis of blood samples, were similar in the groups vaccinated using patches and those receiving intramuscular injection, and these immune responses were still present after six months. In one group the patch was administered by a health care provider, in the second it was self-administered by each participant, a third group received the vaccine via injection and a fourth group got a placebo. "By then, those microneedles will be completely dissolved within the skin, along with the vaccine".
The patch could also save money because it is easily self-administered and could be transported and stored without refrigeration, and is easily dropped off after use without sharps waste. A team led by Prausnitz designed the dime-sized patch of microneedles used in the study. "It's very gratifying and exciting to have these patches tested in a clinical trial, and with a result that turned out so well".
It offers the same protection as a regular vaccine, but without pain, according to its developers from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, who are funded by the US National Institutes of Health.