Vaccinating against influenza in children without needles: A new initiative
10 October 2012
30 October 2012
28 July 2015 (online)
Young children are of the highest hospital admission rate of all influenza cases. A broad and effective rollout of influenza vaccines for children is hindered by the current most common method of administration: the needle and syringe. Limitations include: reduced compliance due to needle-phobia; increased costs due to maintaining refrigeration due to transportation and storage (the "cold chain"); the need for qualified medical/nursing practitioners – to help reduce risk of unsafe injections and needle-stick injuries; and potentially impeded immunity – by delivery to muscle and not accessing the abundant antigen presenting cell populations resident in skin and mucosal surfaces. This paper explores needle-free routes to improved childhood influenza vaccines rollout, by being a practical device for self-administration that has also generated significantly-improved immunogenicity and also the removal of the cold chain (through dry-formulation). Marketed devices targeting the mucosa through intranasal delivery (of liquid vaccine) are analysed, together with skin-targeting approaches currently in development – offering both improved immunogenicity and cold-chain removal by formulating the vaccine in a solid form.