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Pain-Free Immunisation - The Future of Vaccine Delivery

The last decade has seen an increasing interest in novel vaccine delivery systems, some with the potential to improve efficacy, safety profiles and standards of compliance. Traditional needle and syringe vaccinations are associated with unwanted infection in both patients and health care workers, while 'needlephobia' and discomfort reduce uptake rates, particularly in children. In the US alone, over a million people suffer injury or infection from needles and, as a result, require further treatment which is often costly. Improving the safety of prophylactic vaccine delivery is especially pertinent because the purpose of the treatment is to prevent disease. In many cases, parenteral immunisation has also failed to provide an effective method for stimulation of both arms of the immune system and the provision of mucosal or cell-mediated (cytotoxic lymphocytes and lymphatic immunity), as well as humoral responses (1).

Almost all viral, bacterial and parasitic disease-causing agents gain access to the body via one of the large mucosal surfaces (such as the nose, intestines, lungs and vagina), which form part of the lymphatic system. Consequently, lymphatic immunity is vital to the acquisition of effective defence against many diseases that, as yet, are not pharmaceutically preventable. However, the majority of currently available parenteral vaccines fail to stimulate this arm of the immune response. This failure to provide adequate lymphatic immunity reduces efficacy and, therefore, uptake rate and potential price points of many vaccines. As such, the development of novel vaccine delivery systems, capable of invoking cell mediated immune responses, could introduce both higher efficacy vaccines in existing indications and novel products in new indications.


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By Dr Amber Gibson, Healthcare Analyst at Datamonitor

Dr Amber Gibson graduated from Imperial College, London in Environmental Science. Following graduation, she joined Datamonitor as an Analyst within the vaccine team.

Amber has worked on numerous consultancy and market analysis projects since joining the company, and has developed extensive expertise in both therapeutic and prophylactic niche sectors. She presented at two major conferences in 2002, and has contributed to numerous trade and consumer journals. Amber has also authored two major market reports.

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Dr Amber Gibson
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