Imagine going for vaccination, but instead of receiving a jab, you place a patch on your skin and click it with a handheld applicator for protection against COVID-19. That is what researchers and technicians from the University of Austin, Texas, have been developing. Similar research is on-going at the University of Queensland in Australia, where they are working with a company called Vaxxas and are in the testing phase.
The whole campaign is aimed at increasing vaccine uptake, especially among people with a fear of needles. A 1-square centimetre patch with thousands of microscopic projections coated with a stabilized spike protein is introduced to your skin instead of receiving a jab. Once the trial is complete, it will be easier to deliver immunity against the virus using this method.
What Is The Technology Being Used To Develop The Needle-Free Vaccines?
The new needle-less vaccine use the spike protein and was developed in early 2020 by Associate Professor Dr Jason McLellan and his team in the Bioscience department in the Univerty of Austin. The technology forms the basis for the development of the current vaccine being administered in the USA. The team used second-generation technology to come up with the stabilized version of the spike protein patch.
Dr McLellan told KXAN that the interesting development would play a crucial role in reducing the spread of the virus. It’s easier to store this vaccine as it can withstand 77 degrees Fahrenheit for nearly a month without spoiling. This makes it easier to keep compared to other vaccines that require extremely low temperatures when it comes to storage.
Such conditions make it easier to store and distribute, especially in countries with storage limitations. Since you can also mail the patch, it could bolster vaccinations, especially in developing countries.
How will The Needle-Free Vaccines be helpful to people?
The development of needle-free vaccines will be instrumental in the uptake of the vaccines among people with needle phobias. You won’t have a needle penetrating your skin but will replace that procedure with a patch. The virus mutates and gets variants every day, making it crucial for people who have not received the vaccinations to take one. Research shows that every infection is likely to produce a new variant necessitating the urgent development of needless vaccinations as an incentive for people to take up the vaccination.
The vaccine development also highlighted the research might of the institution of higher learning in the USA for coming up with such a noble idea. The vaccine development doesn’t come as a surprise as the UT has been a research giant in scientific advancement.
COVID-19 variants have contributed heavily to the formation of the latest needle-free vaccines. Among the leading nations in the development of needless vaccines include the USA, Australia and India, whose researchers are working overnight to deploy a needle-less vaccine. The vaccine will play a crucial role in curbing the virus spread as you won’t receive a jab. Instead, a patch on your skin will serve as the vaccine.