Flu Vaccine Via Microneedle
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If your fear of needles has ever stopped you from getting a flu vaccine, new technology may help. A "microneedle" is 90 percent smaller than needles used for regular flu shots. It also uses 40 percent less antigen than the regular flu shot, but the CDC says it's just as effective.
It goes just under the skin, not into the muscle like the regular flu shot. Mecklenburg Medical Group's Dr. Ryan Shelton says it doesn't matter how you get the flu vaccine this year, as long as you get it. He says, "Last year we had a fairly mild flu season overall which makes me fearful that this year is probably gonna be a lot worse."
East Charlotte resident Trenton Harris plans on getting the vaccine. "Flu is a bad, bad thing. I know a lot of people that passed away from the flu," says Harris. Even though "regular" needles don't bother him, he says, "I'll definitely ask about it if it's a little needle, yeah, I wanna know about it."
But for Cotswold resident and mom Cheale Villa, a flu vaccine is not on her "to do" list for her or her daughter. She says, "Needles don't bother me, I just don't like unnecessary chemicals, we're a very organic family. I just feel it's one of those things your body knows how to fight off."
The microneedle flu vaccine was first available last year and is expected to gain popularity this year. It costs about five bucks more than the regular shot and it's recommended for people between the ages of 18 and 64.