Vaccines protect us from various diseases like diphtheria , polio, tetanus and many other diseases. As the time has progressed the number of diseases and vaccine have increased. although vaccines help us to counter disease, their mode of delivery i,e the use of needles can create anxiety, trauma in the children as well as adults.
Vaccines were first developed by English physician Edward Jenner as a protection against smallpox. from then the science of vaccinology has developed a lot.We have been able to counter many diseases succesfully. Vaccines work on the principle of immunization, i.e inducing an immune response by introducing a part of the microorganism into the body. The body’s response to infection include skin and the underlying tissue which are rich in immune cell. This is the reason why most of the vaccines are administered into the muscle or skin tissue and require a needle to do it.
The use needles for vaccination can create anxiety and fear the children, also there are chances of infection if correct sterilization techniques are not used in vaccination. To avoid this, the scientist created needles ways of administrating vaccines.Although most are in developmental stage , we still can hope for a bit of relief with these needleless vacination technology.
Bioneedles are small hollow implants made of starch.These can be filled with vaccine
antigens.These are shot under the skin using air pressure and they dissolve causing the vaccine to be released.The advantage here is that the vaccines needn’t be cold stored but it also has a disadvantage of being able to administer only small volumes at a time and being expensive.
A nanopatch consists of thousands of microprojections at its surface that are coated with vaccine. These projections painlessly enter the outer skin layer(stratum corneum) and react with the immediately below the skin surface. A nanopatch array consists of a 1cm² of silicon with approximately 20,000 microprojections on its surface that are invisible to the naked eye.The vaccines are dry coated on to the nanopatch and the requires no refrigeration. It was Professor Mark Kendall, University of Quensland who invented this nanopatch technology.
A company called Pharmajet has created a needle free injector for the infuenza vaccine with Australian pharmaceutical company Seqirus. It uses high pressure to deliver the vaccine into the skin without the use of an injection.These pharmajet injectors are available in the United States.
These types of vaccine are still in the developmental stage of studies. This technology aims at introducing vaccines on a edible platform. This means the introduction of vaccines into the food we eat, it can range from plants to bacteria. Now this technology is not as simple as it sounds , the use of plants or any other organisms as delivery agents will raise many ethical issues as well as the issue of disturbing the organisms ecosystm or natural being will have its consequence.