COVID-19 microneedle vaccine pricks interest in preclinical trial

Written by Lucy Chard, Editor

Microneedle array vaccine arm patch

As the hunt for a novel coronavirus vaccine continues, previously used vaccination methods are being repurposed to expedite the development of an effective vaccine.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (PA, USA) are using vaccination methods created for previous coronavirus and zika virus epidemics.

The vaccine, PittCoVacc, contains nanosized pieces of the viral spike protein – necessary for inducing immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus – and is delivered using a microneedle array.

The microneedle patch consists of 400 tiny needles, which pierce the skin and dissolve, delivering the spike protein directly and in a less invasive way than a conventional vaccine.

The vaccine has proved effective in mouse trials, with enough antibodies produced to provide immunity against the virus for a year.

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