St. Louis Public Radio News
8:11 am
Tue May 3, 2005

'No Needle' flu vaccine studied at SLU

St. Louis, MO. – Researchers at St. Louis University's School of Medicine are trying to find out if there's an easier, and less painful, way to give flu shots.

A study now underway at SLU will determine if the flu vaccine can be absorbed through the skin using an ultrasound device, rather than a syringe.

Lead investigator, Dr. Robert Belshe, says this could be a significant study.

"There are people that just don't like needles and won't get their flu shot because they don't like the needle. And so, this might be a successful alternative," Belshe said. "If we're able to show that a lower dose of vaccine works just as well, in a year like last year when there was a vaccine shortage, this might be a way of stretching the vaccine supply."

Belshe says the idea for the study came from the company that manufactures an ultrasound skin permeation device.