Researchers from the University of Colorado have developed a powdered measles vaccine that need only be inhaled to be effective. Injecting it through syringe needles or keeping it refrigerated overnight is useless, and it is only made to be inhaled and finished up once the vial is open.
According to Robert Sievers, the lead researcher and a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado, typical measles vaccines are manufactured in their powdered form but healthcare providers add water solutions to make them injectable for patients. However, this new measles vaccine will only be inhaled to be effective.
While this new measles powdered vaccine will come in multiple-dose vials, it must not be stored overnight even through refrigeration because it will go bad; it must be finished up once opened. According to Sievers, this will eliminate disposal problems and rule out the need for special syringe needles for administration.
First phase clinical trials were carried out on 60 male adults aged 18-45 – but these were people that already had immunity to measles. They were divided into two groups. One group had the powder measles vaccine administered through inhalation, and the second group had it injected via needles. 60% of the group that inhaled the vaccine did not develop any side-effects, but it was found nearly useless in the group that had it injected. It must be borne in mind however that these were people that were already immune to measles attacks, but other phase trials will take other classes of people into account to determine its effectiveness for a wider generality of peoples.
The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that 600 people were reported to have contracted measles in 2014, and hundreds more dying in other climes due to the infectious nature of measles.