Self-Vaccination?

microneedleWe're all about self these days, it seems. Selfie sticks, self-testing for any number of infectious diseases, and now self-vaccination! While some of the emphasis on self may be suspect, Rick and I agree on PodMed this week that a novel method for self-vaccination appears to have nothing but upside, as published in the Lancet.

Researchers describe a phase I study in which 100 volunteers were randomly assigned to one of four groups: a group that received a single dose of inactivated flu vaccine via injection, or by microneedle patch, or placebo- all administered by a provider, or a self-administered patch applied by the subject. Said patch, pictured above, has tiny little dissolvable needles that have a bit of the vaccine adhered to them. When applied for several minutes, the vaccine is delivered through the skin and elicits an immune response. How good an immune response? Every bit as good as the traditional injection, their data show.  And there are a multitude of other advantages: no cold storage chain needed, easy and preferable for the majority of subjects, inexpensive, and safely disposable after use. Rick and I are looking forward to further studies, and hope to see the technology employed for many other vaccinations.

Other topics this week include two from NEJM: Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population and Aspirin vs. Placebo for Preterm Preeclampsia, and in the BMJ: Physical activity, cognitive decline, and risk of dementia: 28 year follow-up of Whitehall II cohort study. Until next week, y'all live well.

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