Afraid of the Flu Shot? Try a Smaller Needle

Time (09/20/11) Park, Alice
A new form of the seasonal flu vaccine features a shorter needle, which could boost vaccination rates among people with a fear of needles and enable more people to be vaccinated during a shortage. Sanofi-Pasteur's Fluzone Intradermal vaccine's needle is just 0.06 inches long, 90 percent shorter than the traditional needle length of 1 inch to 1.5 inches. Both the Fluzone vaccine and the typical flu vaccine contain the same antigens, but the amount of antigen in the new vaccine is 40 percent less, enabling more doses to be produced in the event of a shortage. The new vaccine, approved only for adults ages 18 to 34 years, provides the same immune response as the regular flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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