Covid vaccine could be given by ‘nicotine patch’ in good news for ‘needlephobes’

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Coronavirus vaccines could soon be given by devices similar to nicotine patches.

Scientists are developing the technology in Australia, which could help ‘needlephobes’ to get the jab.

People would receive the vaccine by simply wearing a patch like the ones smokers use to try and quit the habit.

The device, which is coated with the vaccine, has a ‘click’ applicator which can deliver thousands of microscopic doses of it.

As the vaccine makes its way below the skin, it forces cells to produce an immune response.

And it is actually a faster alternative than receiving the vaccine by a syringe, according to MailOnline.

The patch is also said to be able to neutralise multiple variants, including the Kent and South African strains.

Medics from the University of Queensland are working with biotechnology firm Vaxxas on the project.

Dr David Muller told The Australian: “When the vaccine is delivered via a high-density microarray patch applicator – rather than a needle – it produces better and faster immune responses.”

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The patches can also be stored at warmer temperatures instead of the cold conditions other vaccines have to be kept at.

They can be kept for a week at 40C or for a month at 25C, which means they can be sent to more remote countries.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab can be stored at room temperature, while the Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at -70C.

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So far, the UK has approved four different vaccines so far – from Oxford/ AstraZeneca jab, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen.

Meanwhile, it recently emerged nearly a thousand doses of vaccine had to be binned after a cleaner unplugged a fridge so they could plug their phone in.

Burul Asylbekova, an official at Kyrgyzstan’s Central State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, said the incident occurred at a clinic in the capital Bishkek in April.

The ruined vaccines were part of a delivery of 20,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine that had been donated to the country by Russia.

  • Coronavirus
  • Science

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