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Now, a flu vaccine that melts in your mouth

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Researchers said a variety of vaccines can be delivered directly into the bloodstream via a soluble film placed under the tongue, without using the painful injections.

The 'oral vaccine' technique was developed after scientists discovered they could use 'good bacteria' to administer various vaccines including flu and tuberculosis, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

"Rather than requiring needle delivery vaccines based on Bacillus spores can be delivered via a nasal spray or as an oral liquid or capsule," Professor Simon Cutting, of Royal Holloway, University of London, said.

"Alternatively they can be administered via a small soluble film placed under the tongue in a similar way to modern breath fresheners.

"As spores are exceptionally stable, vaccines based on Bacillus do not require cold-chain storage alleviating a further issue with current vaccine approaches," Cutting said.

"Up to one-in-ten people have a pathological fear of needles and doctors fear this puts many of them off from being immunised against various illnesses," he said.

In addition to being less painful than jabs, oral vaccines are also safer to administer - particularly in countries where HIV is a major concern.

These type of vaccines will be more cost effective to make and easier to keep fresh.

Cutting has carried out trials to determine the effectiveness of Bacillus based vaccines for many different diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis and tetanus.

He is now examining whether the vaccine can be used against Clostridium difficile or C diff infections, which are extremely prevalent in the West.

First Published: Thu, October 25 2012. 13:25 IST