New patch gives people another option to protect themselves against the flu virus. With the patch, it even affords you the opportunity to get the yearly flu immunization via the mail instead of the clinic.
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers and scientists have developed a patch that works well when people administer it to themselves. They have an easy time using the patch correctly with hardly any instruction. They say that this is a wonderful option in case the flu shot is not available.
Making vaccine patches easily accessible
According to Mark Prausnitz, biomolecular engineering professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, his goal is to make flu vaccine patches fully available in shops and pharmacies or to have them available through the mail for people to administer them. People can simply buy them and use on every member of the family. Prausnitz and his team maintain the goal of having as many people as possible vaccinated while not needing the services of health care professionals.
Effective as the flu shots
The surface of the patch possesses 50 tiny needles that can barely penetrate the skin. This first study was used to test how people are able to use the patch and not how it was successful in delivering the vaccine. Other research experiments by the group showed that patches are as effective as the flu shot, if not more, when it comes to providing protection from the virus.
Prausnitz and his colleagues agree that the patches are not only effective in saving money, since most of the flu shot’s cost go to the services of the doctor, pharmacist, or nurse who delivered it. Likewise, it can help increase the number of individuals getting the flu vaccine. Of the total number of Americans who must obtain a flu shot, only half of them actually get one. And in the study, 46% of all participants say that they will have their flu shot, while 65 % say they want to try and use the patch vaccine. Many people shun the needles and so when they learned that patches are now available, they want to try using it to get vaccinated.
Patches involve less sensation
Many have tried the patch and were happy with the minimal sensation it caused. James Norman of Georgia Tech tried it and found out that it is a much less painful way getting vaccinated. He said that the sensation provided with the use of the patch disappeared faster than the shot from a needle in the arm.
Among the individuals who planned to get their vaccination, around 55% said that they want to apply the patch while at home, 12% prefer that a health worker does it to them, and 9% want to do it themselves but only in front of the health care worker. On the other hand, around 24% will still rather take their flu shots.
This only means that more and more people are inclined to take advantage of micro-needle patch vaccination, with 64 percent of respondents preferring self-vaccination rather than vaccination via a healthcare worker.
According to Paula Frew, an Emory University school of medicine assistant professor, if the study is representative of the entire population, it would have a positive impact when it comes to the prevention of the flu disease. It will also minimize the cost associated with the flu virus and the vaccination process in general.
Vaccine patch tests to start next year
The researchers led by Norman ask for the services of a company to help start real flu vaccine tests by next year. They are now coordinating with a top vaccine making company who will provide the flu vaccine. Norman is excited about the patches being a perfect provider of vaccine for the kids. He also pointed out the fact that patch vaccine is a great choice because of its high level of effectiveness since the vaccine is distributed to the body via the skin.
What makes the patch a worthy alternative to the flu shots is that they can be shipped easily, with possible storage at room temperature. As US health officials have a problem persuading the Americans to have their yearly flu vaccine, this additional option may serve as a way of making more individuals to actually go and have it. With an easier option of getting the flu vaccine in patches, those who are adamant in not receiving their vaccine might just consider it. They might even ask their kids to have a vaccination through patches as well.
Flu shots are still the top option
While many see the convenience of using patches, most still prefer to take flu shots simply because it has been a time-tested option. However, many procrastinate even if they know that it’s time for them to take their flu shots. People seem not worried about the complications that a flu infection can possibly bring.
Today, people have easy access to flu shots since most popular pharmacies offer them. Just be sure that you opt for the trusted pharmacies to ensure the quality of your flu vaccine. You can go to the Walgreens and Walmart pharmacies to have your shots. These establishments always have a pharmacist that can perform the flu shot. Ensure a fun and healthy life by getting your vaccine shots today.