There could be a shortage of syringes for and many are deathly afraid of needles. An alternative designed in Canada could solve both these problems.
Many problems arose during the Covid-19 pandemic. First of all, remember, there have been shortages of masks or hand sanitizer, which has caused the prices of both of these vital products to rise dramatically. More recently, vaccination campaigns have slowed down across the world as production is struggling to keep up.
But what will be the next obstacle in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus? The problem of syringe shortages could arise in the coming months, although the experts try to be reassuring. But to deal with it in advance, a very interesting innovation has emerged in Canada.
Getting the jab without a jab
International Medical Technologies, a Montreal-based company, has created a strange device that may well be found all over the world in the months or years to come. Named Med-Jet H4, it is a kind of small gun that propels a micro-jet of the vaccine that pierces the skin through the pores. Maurice Menassa, director of operations, detailed how this tool works in the Journal de Montréal.
Instead of a needle that pierces the skin, it's the vaccine or the liquid itself that comes out like a micro-jet that is six times smaller than a needle. It is this which pierces the skin and diffuses (...) To give you an example, it is comparable to a mosquito's stinger.
This injector 2.0 is one-use only and appears to be very effective. It has already been tested with several vaccines such as the flu vaccine, without noticeable problems, but above all it has been very popular with patients. A study conducted in 2017 by McGill University shows that the vast majority of the 80 people tested preferred this to traditional needles.
A device soon to be used against COVID-19?
While its effectiveness and practicality have yielded much approval, studies are still being carried out on this product. But it has already been validated by Health Canada and under the Quebec Immunization Program. The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has done numerous tests with the Med-Jet H4 and everything seems fine.
Whether with the flu vaccine, or with the measles or rubella vaccine, the immune response is the same as that of a standard vaccine. There may be a little more local side effects, such as redness, but fewer systemic effects, such as fever or fatigue. However, CADTH requires more studies before official validation. So it could be the injection of tomorrow, but it will take a little more patience before you do so without the painful needles.