PharmaJet inks deal to use needle-free delivery tech in polio vaccination campaign

PharmaJet has struck an agreement covering the use of its Tropis needle-free injection system in Nigeria, positioning vaccinators to deploy the technology in a project intended to tackle a poliovirus outbreak. 

Vaccination campaigns have dramatically reduced wild polio cases in recent decades, but, in areas with low levels of population immunity, the weakened live virus used in the oral polio vaccine can cause its own problems. After reverting to circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV), the live virus can cause paralysis. Last year, Nigeria reported 415 cases of type 2 cVDPV.

In response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has given emergency use authorization to a next-generation oral polio vaccine that is more genetically stable and less likely to be associated with the emergence of cVDPV2 in low immunity settings.

A region of Nigeria is running a door-to-door immunization campaign to give the new oral vaccine with a low dose of an intradermal polio vaccine. PharmaJet is providing its Tropis technology to deliver the intradermal vaccine. The WHO recommends two doses of an intradermal vaccine to minimize VDPV.

Tropis is a spring-powered device designed to quickly deliver a 0.1-ml dose as a narrow fluid stream so that it penetrates the skin to a precise depth. The vaccinator closes the handles of the device, fills the syringe from a vial, inserts the syringe and vial assembly into the device and delivers the injection.  

The Nigerian pilot project is looking to achieve coverage greater than 90% and “a decrease in zero-dose children under routine immunization,” according to PharmaJet. If the regional pilot achieves its goals, the approach could be replicated in other parts of the country.