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Who’s ready for painless injections? Painless flu patch passes human trials

Photo: Pixabay

Getting an injection sucks. For most of us, it’s not something we would like to go through if we had a choice, but for the sake of our health, we take the stick from time to time.

Scientists as the Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a painless way of delivering vaccines into our bodies. Rather than dealing with the stick of a needle, the vaccine is delivered via a strip which has many hair-like micro-needles.

The patch is designed to be stuck on to your body and then torn off after 20 minutes. Once torn off, the needles that stay in place eventually dissolve away.

Most (if not all) of the pain is taken away because the pressure of one traditional injection is spread across many microscopic needles. That’s why those ‘magicians’ who sit on beds of nails feel no pain when doing so.

Unlike traditional vaccines which are injected directly into our muscle tissue, these micro-needles only puncture the upper layer of the skin.

After reviewing results from a test conducted on 100 volunteer patients, most said the patch alternative was painless, while a few experienced mild side effects such as redness, itching, and tenderness of the skin where the patch was applied.

Even though this cannot replace intravenous injections, these extremely positive results changes the way vaccines could be delivered in the future, especially to young children who are afraid of the pain of needles.

The developers say that unlike liquid vaccines, these patches can last as long as a year without refrigeration, and can easily be dispensed at pharmacies and also used for relief efforts in developing nations.

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