Over 6 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered worldwide, which is great, but a recent News Medical article says a 3D printed microneedle patch may actually be more effective. Researchers at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill developed a vaccine microneedle patch that’s loaded with immune cells that vaccines target. Studies showed that the immune response from the patch was 10 times greater than the traditional needle jab.
There are multiple benefits to using a microneedle patch over an injection. For instance, they’re painless and can be self-administered. Since they don’t have to be stored in the freezer, global distribution would be quicker and more efficient. A lot of stigma surrounding COVID-19 vaccine distribution has stemmed from the pain of a needle. Switching to a patch could improve compliance and help the population navigate future pandemics quicker and easier.