The Lancet

If needles scare you, this new skin patch vaccine might be your best bet

Painless, easy-to-use microneedle patches could one day replace flu injections and help increase vaccination rates around the world, Science News reports. The patch, which looks like a Band-Aid, is covered with 100 miniature needles that penetrate the skin and dissolve within 20 minutes, delivering a single dose of flu vaccine. In a trial of 100 people, the microneedle patch caused no major side effects, little to no pain, and triggered an immune response similar to traditional flu shots, researchers report in The Lancet. Because the vaccine patch does not need to be kept cold and can be applied directly by the patient, scientists say it could help provide life-saving vaccines to areas with limited resources.

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