Flu jab in a pill heralded as vaccine ‘revolution’
Scientists create highly stable artificial versions of vaccine molecules
A “revolutionary” flu vaccine that can be administered as a pill has been developed by British scientists
The vaccine tablet does not need refrigeration, making it easier to transport and more suitable for developing countries with warm climates.
Researchers at the University of Cardiff produced the pill by creating synthetic “mirror image” versions of protein molecules.
Like their real-life viral counterparts, the artificial proteins stimulate the immune system.
Lead scientist Professor Andrew Sewell said: “There are many benefits of oral vaccines. Not only would they be great news for people who have a fear of needles, but they can also be much easier to store and transport, making them far more suitable for use in remote locations where current vaccine delivery systems can be problematic.”
The scientists claim the new pill could herald a “revolution in vaccine delivery”.
So far the research, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, has been confined to a proof-of-concept laboratory study.
It may take several more years before a non-biological pill vaccine is tested on patients, said the scientists.