Researchers develop needle-free vaccine delivery

South Korean researchers have successfully tested a new approach to delivering vaccines, applying it under the tongue rather than through a needle. In a mouse study, the under-the-tongue approach proved effective in ginning a significant immune response with a flu vaccine. And the scientists at the International Vaccine Institute say that it may have other advantages as well; reducing the risks associated with jabs, avoiding the chance that vaccines could wind up influencing the central nervous system--a theoretical concern linked to nasal applications--and spelling an end to the fears of needle-phobes. Now the team wants to try the needle-free approach in a human trial.

"Sublingual vaccination is an entirely new approach to the delivery of vaccines; this approach offers the possibility of vaccinating against a variety of infections without the risks posed by delivering vaccines with needles," says IVI Director John Clemens.

- read the article from the BBC