OCT 10, 2017 6:01 AM PDT

One Shot Has All the Vaccines A Little Baby Needs

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

A "one size fits all" approach to vaccination is taking place with a new technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which uses a unique biodegradable polymer to deliver all of the necessary vaccinations a baby needs after birth over an extended period of time. Only one injection necessary.

The polymer, polylacticcoglycolic acid (PLGA), is already approved by the FDA for use in other devices, and it breaks down in a predictable way so that doctors can plan which vaccinations and which boosters are released at specific times. PLGA slowly reacts with water in the body and breaks down through hydrolysis.

This new technology could eliminate the complicated schedule of infections that parents struggle to follow in a baby's first months of life. Additionally, one injection with all of the necessary vaccines could increase the number of people who receive vaccinations and boosters in third world countries. And nervous parents rest assured, this method is safe, and there is no such thing as "overwhelming" the immune system

"We are very excited about this work because, for the first time, we can create a library of tiny, encased vaccine particles, each programmed to release at a precise, predictable time, so that people could potentially receive a single injection that, in effect, would have multiple boosters already built into it," explained MIT's Robert Langer. "This could have a significant impact on patients everywhere, especially in the developing world where patient compliance is particularly poor."
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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