Could a Flu Patch Bring an End to Flu Shots?


Pioneer Founding member
Good way to get rid of medical waste, not to mention the convenience.

By Kristina Duda, RN
September 05, 2017

If you hate getting flu shots because you don't like needles, you could soon be in luck. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed a flu patch that appears to be as effective as the traditional flu vaccine injection. Although it it is still in the trial phase, completed studies are promising.

How It Works
The flu patch is a self adhesive patch that contains 100 water-soluble microneedles that dissolve into the skin.

The needles dissolve within minutes of the patch—which is about the size of a band-aid—being applied to the skin. The patch can then be removed and discarded with regular trash. Because the microneedles dissolve, there is no need for disposal in a sharps container.

Another significant benefit of the flu patch is that is could be delivered in the mail and self-administered. It requires no special training to put on and does not require refrigeration. This would eliminate the need for most people to go to a doctor's office or pharmacy to get a flu vaccine each season.

Developers and public health officials hope that the ease of administration and convenience of home delivery would significantly increase flu vaccination rates.

What to Expect
As of September 2017, the flu patch is still in the trial phase and is not available to the general public. Results of a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were published online in the journal, The Lancet, on June 27, 2017.