Not a flu shot fan? Here's a vaccine patch you give yourself

There are many reasons the influenza vaccination rate is well below 50 percent for most age groups in the U.S. Some people are against vaccinations altogether, others believe that getting the flu is no big deal, some are afraid of needles, others don't have the money, and some simply don't get around to scheduling and making the trip to the doc's office.

But a new study finding that people are actually quite good at self-administering painless microneedle flu vaccine patches hints at a future where at least some of these problems simply disappear altogether.

"Our … Read more

Introducing a flu vaccine you give yourself

What if getting a flu vaccine no longer involved getting a shot?

Researchers at Georgia State University have spent the past few years working on a microneedle patch that dissolves into the skin for patients to easily and painlessly self-administer vaccines. Now, they've developed a flu vaccine using the system that, when tested on mice, proved to be 100 percent effective more than a year after the mice were vaccinated.… Read more

Researchers closing in on effective malaria vaccine

Scientists around the world have been working on vaccines to protect humans against malaria for years, to largely no avail. In fact, the World Health Organization -- which estimates that 2010 alone saw 219 million cases of the disease and 660,000 deaths, almost all in Africa -- set the year 2025 as a target date to develop a vaccine that is 80 percent effective.

Now, researchers the world over are enjoying news of a highly successful vaccine with "cautious optimism," according to the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.… Read more

A solid step toward vaccinating against type 1 diabetes

Most vaccines work by giving the immune system a crash course in how to attack bacteria or viruses. The goal is to protect against diseases -- think influenza, polio, and smallpox, which have collectively killed tens of millions of people in recent history.

Now an experimental vaccine being developed at Stanford University uses an entirely different approach to get at the same end goal -- protecting against type 1 diabetes by instructing a diabetic's immune system to stop attacking its own body.… Read more

Easy computer/USB safety

The Panda USB Vaccine is an application that protects your computer against vicious malware by vaccinating potential threats. It's an easy and fast way to keep your computer safe and working.

There really isn't much to this USB drive vaccine. We were pleased to find that it not only has an option for USB Vaccination, but also Computer Vaccination. For each option it lists an explanation of the process behind vaccination and what it involves. You know what and why it vaccinates before you decide to even use it. You can setup this utility to automatically scan and … Read more

Text messages prompting people to get their flu shot

Only about half of kids ages 6 months to 17 years received the flu shot in the 2010-2011 season, which may be one reason influenza remains one of the most common causes of hospitalization among kids today, according to a study in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So researchers from Columbia University and beyond tested an intervention program on a randomized control trial of more than 9,000 kids of that same age range at four community-based clinics in the United States, where more than 7,500 kids had not received the vaccine … Read more

Biologists one step closer to neutralizing HIV

Researchers around the world have been studying a group of recently-identified antibodies capable of neutralizing most strains of HIV, with the hopes of developing a vaccine that produces antibodies with these same properties.

Now, biologists out of the California Institute of Technology--led by Nobel Laureate David Baltimore--are one step closer to a vaccine with their new method of delivering these antibodies to lab mice, thereby protecting them from HIV.

Their approach, called Vectored ImmunoProphylaxis (VIP) and outlined in today's online issue of Nature, turns the traditional vaccination method on its head.

For the most part, researchers have focused … Read more

A vaccine for breast, ovarian cancers?

Could a shot in the arm help destroy a growing tumor? That concept is looking more and more plausible.

Scientists have been investigating the potential of vaccines to prevent various types of cancer for several years. In 2010, one study found that a single vaccination prevented breast cancer tumors from forming in mice.

A team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology now is reporting in the journal Clinical Cancer Research that a vaccine might show promise in treating (as opposed to preventing) both metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Led by cancer … Read more

Gates: 'Decade of Vaccines' can save 10 million lives by 2020

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is pushing harder than ever for government leaders around the world to increase vaccination investments.

In a keynote address yesterday to the 64th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spoke for nearly half an hour to health ministers from 193 countries about the importance of "seeking good health care for every human being."

"I believe we have the opportunity to make a new future in which global health is the cornerstone of global prosperity," he said.

Gates called on the assembly to make this "the Decade of Vaccines," with some basic goals: eradicate polio early in this decade; build a system capable of delivering vaccines to every child; make five or six new vaccines available to all children around the world. With these investments, Gates said, the world "can save 4 million lives by 2015 and 10 million lives by 2020."

Another challenge Gates cited was lowering the cost of antigenic materials, such as pentavalent, pneumococcus, and rotavirus vaccines. The Gates Foundation is working with vaccine manufacturers to cut prices of those inoculations in half by 2016. Lower costs would be beneficial to many countries around the world that are reeling from budget woes. … Read more

Vaccine delivery system dissolves into thin air

A patch comprising hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could enable laypeople to administer vaccines not only easily but also painlessly, according to new research out of Georgia Tech and Emory University.

The patch contains roughly an array made of poly-vinyl pyrrolidone with 100 needles that are just 650 microns long. Once pressed into the skin, the microneedles immediately begin to dissolve in bodily fluids, and only the water-soluble backing remains. (Because the backing alone contains nothing sharp, it can simply be thrown away.)

The patches were studied on mice, and the results appeared online in the journal Nature Medicine. … Read more