Hepatitis B infects around 400 million people worldwide, especially in poor countries (Africa mostly). It mostly affects children, but can be also found in adults. There are currently 3 vaccines available, but they haven’t helped to bring hepatitis B to it’s knees. Of course, in poor countries these vaccines are very hard to find – and are expensive.
Researchers at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for medicine and biological sciences at the UOM have reported that they have invented a needle-less method for getting the substance into the body and it’s been shown as nontoxic at all. The vaccine is made out of an emulsion of water, soybean oil and surfacants in the nose.
“Our results indicate that needle-free nasal immunization, using a combination of nanoemulsion and hepatitis B antigen, could be a safe and effective hepatitis B vaccine, and also provide an alternative booster method for existing vaccines,” says James R. Baker, the director of the institute.
This vaccine neutralizes the pain that people experience by getting shot with the current vaccines.
The research was mostly funded by an initiative which is owned by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is estimated that this disease takes around 1 million lives every year.