Powder Measles Vaccine Developed

A powder measles vaccine has recently been developed by scientists. Phase one of trials of the powder vaccine have been proven successful. This opens the doors for further trials to be done on women and children who are not yet immune to measles. According to the World Health Organization, measles has killed 154,700 people in the year 2013 alone. If the vaccine is proven successful, it has the potential to save many lives in the future.

Phase one clinical trial of the vaccine was the first study where the vaccine has been tested on humans. During the phase one clinical trial, 60 men between the ages of 18 and 45 were administered the powder version of the vaccine. During the trial, the vaccine was delivered to the men in three different methods of transmission. One group of men received the vaccination by being injected with the liquid form of the vaccination. There two more groups that were given the powdered form of the vaccine using two different methods. All three methods of administering the vaccination were proven to be equally successful when all three groups responded similarly to the vaccination no matter how it was administered.

The recently developed powder form of the measles vaccination will prove to be much more efficient than the older liquid form which could only be administered through injection. Not only is it cheaper, it is much safer to administer than the liquid form. Rather than having to be administered through needles, which creates far more risks for cross contamination, the powder form of the vaccine is inhaled by an individual through one puff air. Not having to administer the vaccine by needles also eliminates the costs and special containers that are needed for disposal of the needles.

With an increase of 19% of individuals contacting the measles virus from 2012 to 2013, it is safe to say that it was time that researches address the issue and consider alternative and creative measures to combat the problem. With most recent reports showing that over 21.5 million children who had not received a vaccination against the measles virus, most living in underdeveloped nations, it was apparent that the issue needed to be addressed.

With clean water being an issue in these underdeveloped nations, liquid forms of the vaccination had been proven to be difficult to produce and administer; however, with the powdered version there is no need for water, making it an ideal candidate for use in these nations. Another benefit of the newer form of the vaccination is there is no need for liquid storage which is extremely important in places where resources, such as electricity, are scarce. The powder form of the vaccination can be stored at room temperature for 6 months without going bad and can last up to four years in a refrigerator or at a temperature between 36 and 46 degrees.

As this powder form of the measles vaccination continues to grow and develop, so does the hope for the 21.5 million children who currently have yet to have been vaccinated against the virus. Since the cost of development and administration of the powder form of the vaccination is much less than that of the liquid form, officials have the resources needed in order to be sure that statistics regarding the number of individuals who contact the measles virus does not continue to grow.

By Kelli Patterson

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Photo courtesy of Nomadic Lass- Flickr License

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