Will the Use of “Ouchless” Measles Vaccines Reduce the Risk of Vaccine Shoulder Injury?

woman-shldr-painIn the United States, measles has largely been eradicated thanks to the introduction of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1971. The MMR vaccine is typically administered in a series of two doses; and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these two doses are 97 percent effective in preventing contraction of this potentially-fatal disease. Each year, less than 1,000 people in the United States contract measles, and in some years the number of reported cases is less than 100.

Unfortunately, like all vaccines, the measles vaccines (including MMR) are not without their own risks.One of these risks is the danger of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). SIRVA result from errors during vaccine injections, and can have effects ranging from lingering pain to long-term physical limitations and disabilities.

New Vaccine Patch Could Prevent Shoulder Injury from Measles Immunization

To combat the risk of SIRVA and to make it easier to dispense the measles vaccine throughout the United States and worldwide, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are working with the CDC to develop a new “ouchless” way to administer the measles vaccine. Their proposed solution is a patch that “[y]ou put…on like a Band-Aid,” and that delivers the measles vaccine without the need for a hypodermic needle injection.

The patch works by using 100 tiny needles (each just over a half-millimeter in length) to inject the vaccine through the outer layer of the skin. According to researchers, this is all that is needed in order to effectively administer the vaccine. As a result, “a hypodermic needle is really overkill” says one of the Georgia Tech chemical engineers working on the project, “[you can] use an extremely short needle.”

But, event these “needles” aren’t even really needles at all. Instead, they are made up of the measles vaccine itself and a handful of other ingredients. When these “needles” pierce the skin, they dissolve, administering the vaccine in what is reportedly a mistake-proof and completely painless event.

The researchers behind the patch are currently seeking the funding needed in order to begin the process of seeking FDA approval.

Other Vaccine Patches Are Already in the Works

In addition to the new measles patch, researchers are also exploring the use of patches to administer the flu and polio vaccines. The flu-vaccine patch is already undergoing clinical trials. With millions of people receiving polio vaccinations and getting their flu shot each year (also by injection in the upper arm), these new innovations have the potential to significantly reduce individuals’ risk of SIRVA throughout their lifetimes.

Law Office of Leah V. Durant PLLC | No-Cost Legal Representation for SIRVA Claims Nationwide

If you or your child has suffered a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Vaccine injury lawyer Leah Durant provides no-cost legal representation for SIRVA claims nationwide. To find out if you may be entitled to compensation through the Vaccine Program, contact Law Office of Leah V. Durant, P.L.L.C. online or call (202) 800-1711 to request a free consultation today.