Below is a link to an article detailing some interesting initial results from an experimental influenza vaccination that has the potential to be self-administered. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have been working on a potentially viable alternative to the traditional intramuscular injection method for vaccine administration. This alternative involves a patch, about the size of a dime, which contains 100 water-soluble needles that are just long enough to penetrate the skin. The vaccine is contained within the needle tips and is administered to the body within minutes of applying the patch. The initial testing of 100 individuals in an influenza vaccine randomized trial showed that the antibody responses generated by the vaccine yielded similar results in the groups that were administered the patch and the group that was administered an intramuscular injection. Based on the initial viability results, some are looking at the continued development of the patch and the possibility that someday vaccination patches for all different kinds of vaccines could be delivered in the mail and self-administered by individuals without the aide or oversight of medical professionals.
What potential issues and risks does self-administration raise, especially in the context of vaccines other than the flu vaccine? What effect would getting rid of the needles, reducing costs, and being able to self-administer the vaccines have on participation rates? Could the patch cut down on the ever increasing rates of injuries stemming from vaccine administration?
It is well known that venipuncture or intramuscular injections are known to be precipitating causes for shoulder and other types of injuries and have served as the basis for providing relief under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. If you or a loved one started experiencing shoulder symptoms or other injuries after receiving a vaccine, please contact our Vaccine Injury Attorneys. Our firm is experienced in litigating vaccine injury claims on behalf of those suffering shoulder or other types of injuries.