What if there were vaccines that didn’t use needles? Sounds too good to be true? Well, that’s exactly what a new measles vaccine seems to be- a team of experts have developed a measles vaccine that is in the powder form, aimed at improving coverage. Needless to say, this vaccine would be quite easy to administer.
Basically, this vaccine, which is in the form of a dry powder, can be delivered with a puff of air, and has already proved its efficacy in human trials. Earlier animal trials of this measles vaccine have also been successful, and it seems, very soon we may have it for use.
Lead researcher Prof. Robert Sievers from the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have a belief that providing vaccines through the conventional way- using needles, could pose some serious problems. In countries with shortage of resources, these problems tend to be even more prominent. However, this is not the case with this new vaccine, which is safe and effective.
The researchers specially created a new dry delivery technique, which basically involved inhaling dry powder to enhance the delivery of the vaccine. This new technique nullifies the need for injections and also liquid storage need could be avoided.
The researchers conducted animal trials for the study, and found that the vaccine was able to protect rhesus macaques and cotton rats from measles infections. What’s best, the researchers found that this vaccine can be safely stored for 6 months- 4 years at room temperature or in a refrigerator.
In the latest phase one clinical trial, the research team has conducted research on humans. They were quite cautious; therefore, they first tested people who had the disease or had been injected earlier by needles.
The researchers took in 60 adult males in the age group of 18 to 45 years for the study. In the clinical trial, the study researchers were tested the delivery of powder with two devices and then compared the groups with the group that received the typical injection.
Men from all three groups responded similarly and there was positive response from the powder vaccination. “You don’t need to worry about needles; you don’t need to worry about reconstituting vaccines with clean water; you don’t need to worry about disposal of sharps waste or other vaccine wastage issues; and dry delivery is cheaper”, affirmed Prof. Sievers.