No more pricks in the arm or colorful bandages for children getting their vaccination for measles could be in the future. A new experimental vaccine for the virus has made headway in early trials and it comes powdered, taken not via injections but inhalation.
A University of Colorado professor said that delivering vaccines the conventional way, with a needle injection, poses serious challenges, especially in regions of the world that are poor in resources.
The newly tested powdered vaccine has to be proved safe for use in humans in clinical trials. Testing done previously has confirmed the protective capabilities of the vaccine, preventing rats and monkeys from contracting the disease that at times can be fatal.
According to data from the World Health Organization, the measles virus, which is highly contagious, killed more than 145,700 during 2013, a jump of 19% from just one year ago.
WHO has estimated that close to 21.5 million children did not received vaccinations in 2013. Close to 60% of that number live in just a few developing countries, which include Nigeria, India and Pakistan.
Any new development that makes the vaccination process for these children an easier task, is likely to save them. The research group’s powdered vaccine is just the answer WHO is looking for. The vaccine eliminates any need to purchase needs and lowers the risk of the contamination of vaccines.
The Colorado professor added that there is no worry over needles, no worries about the reconstituting of vaccines using clean water; you do not have to worry about disposing of sharps waste or other wastage issues; it is cheaper to receive a dry delivery.
The next move is to take the powdered vaccine to testing phases that involve human subjects who are not immune to the deadly virus.
The health community has been looking for this type of vaccination for years as it makes it much easier to apply and far less waste is created making there less medical waste to dispose of.