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Covid-19 Vaccine Patches Could be a Painless Approach

Even though what’s in the needle can prevent them from a terrible disease like Covid-19, it’s a rare person who looks forward to being stabbed with a needle. However, various teams around the world are working on a means to administer a vaccine without causing pain. The key is to make the needles as tiny as possible. It’s really little. They’re so little that they don’t interact with the pain-sensing nerve terminals.

Mark Prausnitz is the head of Georgia Tech’s Center for Drug Design, Development, and Delivery. He works on microneedle patches, which are used to deliver immunizations. He’s worked on patch vaccinations for flu and measles so far, but the technology might also be applied to a Covid-19 vaccination. When the microneedles are pushed against your skin, you will feel something.

Prausnitz says, “Like if someone took some Velcro and pressed that firmly against your skin. There’s a kind of a roughness. Some people may describe it as a kind of tingling. So there is a sensation, but it’s a sensation that people don’t find objectionable or painful.”

According to Prausnitz, the microneedle patch is a spin-off from the computer chip business. Chipmakers honed their skills in creating minuscule structures out of silicon. It turns out that your skin is a good site to administer a vaccine. It’s brimming with immune cells. The stratum corneum, or outermost layer of the skin, is made up of a layer of cells that is thinner than a sheet of paper.

Those small needles are now typically constructed of water-soluble materials, so they disintegrate once they’ve penetrated your skin, releasing whatever you’ve placed within. She collaborated with Prausnitz on the development of a microneedle-based flu vaccine.

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