Positive results announced by Micron Biomedical earlier this week stated that a measles and rubella vaccine patch has completed a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. These are exciting results which show, for the first time, the potential for vaccine patch to safely and effectively deliver vaccines to children.
Needle-free vaccine technology has the potential to transform immunisation and reach everyone everywhere. This is especially important in the case of measles and rubella as high vaccination coverage globally is needed to prevent measles outbreaks and coverage has receded significantly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccine microarray patches (vaccine-MAPs), also known as microneedle patches, consist of microscopic projections that are applied to the body like a small bandage, painlessly penetrating the skin’s outermost layer to deliver a vaccine.
Vaccine-MAPs are expected to be easier to deploy than traditional vaccines, making them well-suited to delivery in hard-to-reach settings or for rapid deployment of protective vaccines in future epidemics or pandemics.
Gavi and its partners, WHO, UNICEF, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Path, CEPI and the US Department of Defence and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority are calling for investments to fund pilot-scale manufacturing facilities and late-stage clinical trials to accelerate its availability.
Dr. Derrick Sim, Managing Director, Vaccine Markets & Health Security at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, commented: “Vaccine patches have the potential to transform immunisation, especially in lower income countries where health infrastructure is less well developed. With these very encouraging clinical trial results, now is the perfect time for us all to step in and set us on a pathway for introducing this technology platform for measles and rubella, and a range of epidemic and endemic vaccines in the future.”