‘Needle-free Vaccine Patches Are Coming Soon, Say Researchers and Makers’

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The rise of devices that connect the human body to the web is accelerating rapidly. Apparently this Internet of Bodies could revolutionize health care and improve our quality of life. The Internet of Bodies technologies fall under the broader IoT umbrella. But as the name suggests, IoB devices introduces an even more intimate interplay between humans and gadgets. IoB devices can monitor the human body, collect health metrics and other personal information, and transmit that data over the internet. Many devices, such as fitness trackers, are already in use.

We’re entering the era of the “Internet of Bodies”: collecting our physical data via a range of devices that can be implanted, swallowed, or worn. And according to this paper it says the “Human Body is an Efficient and Secure Wireless Channel.”

You probably thought it would take years and so did I, but the vaccine microneedle patches are launching in Australia starting in April 2022. It leaves digitized micro glass slivers in your skin and stores your medical information.

Are you ready to be patched? The World Economic Forum named Microneedle patches as the number one top emerging tech in 2020.

 

And the Tony Blair Institute recently said that Merck Biomedical Vaccine Innovation via Nano patch, a high-density micro-array patch technology is on its way soon.

 

In the white paper they wrote:

Nanopatch Technology: Investment from late 2020 by the US-based Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority into Australian biotech company Vaxxas suggests that the market for needle-free vaccines has been warming up. The deal, which will see $22 million invested over a three-year cycle into the company, will facilitate the phase 1 trial of Nano patch, a high-density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) for the delivery of adjuvanted and unadjuvanted influenza vaccines.49 Financially backed by Merck, the World Health Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Vaxxas’s dry-coating technology offers a further solution to complex logistical “cold chains” created for the transport and storage of vaccines. While market incentives to scale up research of Vaccine Microarray Patches (VMAPs) have been limited, endorsement by UNICEF, for example, underlines real demand for the expansion of self-delivered immunisation coverage. Investing in such innovative vaccine technology, which can be administered easily and swiftly in a cost-effective manner, is a crucial next step in managing the pandemic and future pandemics.

This technology is financially backed by Merck, the World Health Organisation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Anyone who accepts the vaccine passports and such an intrusion on their movement and privacy is clearly already primed for the ultimate “marking” of the new world order, which will be to accept the QR codes marked directly onto their skin using micro-needle patches and invisible dyes.

These tiny needles, at no more than the depth of a sheet of paper and the width of a human hair, could bring pain-free injections and blood testing. “Microneedles” penetrate the skin without troubling underlying nerve endings, and can be attached to syringes or patches, or even mixed into creams. Many experts predict that the coronavirus will become endemic, and it’s possible that booster vaccines will be needed regularly. An easy-to-apply, shelf-stable vaccine option could help ensure that more of the world’s population is vaccinated.

Smart vaccine devices for delivery of COVID-19 vaccination, They are developing the first dual functionality microneedle-based COVID-19 smart-patch, capable of delivering a vaccine and also measuring the immune response in the form of protein biomarkers thus establishing the efficacy of vaccination.

A team at the University of Queensland in Australia has developed a skin patch vaccine for Covid-19 that’s administered with the click of a small, round applicator device to the upper arm. The solid plastic patch is smaller than a fingernail—just 7 by 7 millimetres. On it are 5,000 needle like projections that enter the skin and deposit the vaccine into the upper dermal layers. The vaccine patch works by delivering the spike protein to the epidermis. This top layer of skin contains a vast network of specialized immune cells that provide a barrier against bacteria and viruses. These cells act as sentinels for the rest of body, sending signals to other cells when they encounter an invading pathogen.

“The skin is a particularly good place to give a vaccine,” says Mark Prausnitz, director of the Centre for Drug Design, Development and Delivery at Georgia Tech, who wasn’t involved in the new study. “Our skin is the interface for the body and the outside world, so it’s expecting to encounter pathogens now and then and it understands the need to mount immune responses.”

Developers envision that the patch vaccines could eventually be sent through the mail or even delivered by drones in hard-to-reach places without reliable cold storage so that individuals could self-administer them. In a study published in May 2021 by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance found that a fear of needles may be a key factor for around 10 percent of individuals who haven’t gotten a Covid-19 vaccine.

Another project lead on these patches, Dr Sanjiv Sharma of Swansea University previously commented: “Measuring vaccine efficacy is extremely important as it indicates the protective effects of vaccination on an individual via the level of reduction of infection risk in a vaccinated person relative to that of a susceptible, unvaccinated individual. This measure of vaccination effectiveness will address an unmet clinical need and would provide an innovative approach to vaccine development.”

Microneedles could also convey information about a vaccination’s date, dosage, lot number and more. “To eradicate [diseases] like polio and measles,” Jaklenec says, “you really need this kind of data.”

It is not yet understood, how these smart patches would link to our smart phones, the vaccine passport apps, or our digital identities. It’s just too early to tell. Maybe they will be like the self-administered home LFT tests, in which you scan the QR code on the patch and log the application. Or whether there is other sophisticated technology that can log the patch application and its data sets.

What is telling though, is that researchers headed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (DARPA funded) which created an earlier version of the microneedle platform were using fluorescent microparticles called quantum dots (QD), could deliver the vaccines and at the same time invisibly encode the vaccination history directly into the skin.

The quantum dots are composed of nanocrystals, which emit near-infrared (NIR) light that can be detected by a specially equipped smartphone app. Tests using the platform showed that quantum dots delivered to samples of human skin were detectable after photobleaching that simulated five years of exposure sunlight, and they remained detectable for up to nine months when tested in rats.

It may be possible to scan the patches directly using updated vaccine verification and digital identity apps. The more this progresses the more we will undoubtedly find out how these IOB covid patches would work with their wider digital environments.

“This is the future, in my opinion, it is inevitable,” said Schrader. “I think you’re going to see over the next 10 years, this (will) pretty dramatically reshape the way that we get vaccines around the world.” – Vaxxas CEO Michael Schrader told AFP.

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