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Covid-19 vaccine now in patches, no more stings!

A vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 which is administered thanks to a skin patch has managed to neutralize the virus in mice, inducing higher levels of antibodies than the alternatives.

It is Hexapro, which was developed in the University of Texas, and has been administered by means of a patch developed by the University of Queensland; the prototype provided protection against the disease with a painless “click” performed with a pocket applicator.

David Muller, from the Queensland School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, explains that the vaccine patch produced strong immune responses that were effective when mice were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19.

“When the Hexapro vaccine is administered through the high-intensity microarray patch, instead of a needle, it produces better and faster immune responses,” summarizes the researcher, who assures that “it also neutralizes multiple variants, including those originating in the United Kingdom. Kingdom and South Africa “.

“In addition, it is much easier to use than a needle: just click on the applicator on the skin and 5,000 microscopic projections introduce the vaccine into the skin almost imperceptibly”, continues the expert.

Hexapro could help “dramatically” the worldwide vaccine delivery effort, especially for millions of vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries, it said in a statement from Queensland.

The authors further note that the patches can facilitate the administration of vaccines, since the process does not require trained healthcare professionals, and the technology does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures either.

According to the scientists, who publish their developments in the journal Science Advances, the vaccine prototype, when dry coated in a patch, is stable for at least 30 days at 25 degrees Celsius and one week at 40 degrees, “so it doesn’t need the cold chain requirements of some of the current options. “

Muller notes that the Queensland team, together with Vaxxas, the company that markets the patch, hopes to “bring the technology to the world” and is looking for funding opportunities to accelerate the start of clinical trials as much as possible.

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