Dissolvable tablets could replace needle vaccinations

UNITED KINGDOM (WBAY) - Imagine visiting the doctor with your kids and they won't have to worry about getting a shot. That may soon be a reality, because scientists are working on a water-dissolving tablet to replace some needle-injected vaccinations.

Studies shows around 20 percent of people have a fear of needles, but these tablets are designed to dissolve on the tongue in seconds. Catalent Laboratories in the United Kingdom is developing the tablets.

Dr. Ahmad Maqboul with Aurora BayCare says the technology would help make giving shots more convenient especially for children. Aside from the fact that there would be little to no fuss with children, the dissolvable tablets will help ease delivery to poverty filled neighborhoods around the world.

Shots must be stored at a certain temperature to be effective, but these tablets wouldn't need refrigeration. Dr. Maqboul says although there are benefits to the tablet, there are also concerns.

"When the vaccination goes into the arm, it goes right away to the blood stream directly to the body, if it's going through the mouth and being absorbed, it takes some time, and it affects how the medication is metabolized before it becomes active form," said Dr. Maqboul.

Dr. Maqboul says if Catalent Laboratories is able to develop the dissolvable vaccination tablets successfully, it would be a great achievement in the medical world. He says maybe the tablets could even be used for other medical treatments beyond vaccinations.