The development of patches that could be used to deliver vaccinations instead of needles would be welcomed by immunisation nurses, the Royal College of Nursing has said.
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The patches, created in the US, deliver hundreds of “microneedles” that dissolve painlessly into the skin. RCN primary care adviser Lynne Young described the development as “wonderful”.
Researchers from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology used the patches to deliver flu vaccinations to mice, but they said they could be used for other forms of immunisation.
The researchers said they could be widely used in developing countries because there was no need for clinically qualified staff to administer them.
Ms Young said: “Most immunisations and vaccinations are carried out by the GP practice team and if it frees up clinicians to do other tasks then I’m sure the vast majority of them would welcome it.”