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In the News: Trading Needles for Patches

For those with an aversion to needles, flu season may bring some added angst. While the thought of being struck with a bad case of the flu is not appealing, for some, neither is the thought of being stuck with a needle to receive the vaccine. True, there is a nasal flu mist available but it can be quite uncomfortable. Good news- a new option may be available!

Thanks to research from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, a new type of patch has been developed that contains 100 tiny micro-needles that dissolve into the skin to deliver vaccines. So far it has only been tested on mice with positive results, but researchers hope to move to human trials so that the patch could be available in doctor's offices and drugstores within the next five years.

If the patch passes human trials and FDA approval, patients would be able to self-administer the patch simply by pressing it to their skin and leaving it on for ten minutes. Besides being basically pain-free, the patch would also prevent the biohazardous waste now associated with needles and syringes. While the flu-shot patch may be a few years away, for all the trypanophobics (fearful of needles), hope is out there! For more information, click here.