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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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New No-Needle Flu Vaccine in the Works

Flu Vaccine, Absorbed Under the Tongue, Shows Promise in Lab Tests on Mice
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 28, 2008 -- An international team of scientists reports promising results from testing an under-the-tongue, no-needle flu vaccine on mice.

The researchers dropped a little bit of the liquid vaccine under the mice's tongues and let the vaccine sink into that area; the vaccine wasn't swallowed. A few days later, those mice resisted a flu virus test.

Under-the-tongue vaccines don't affect the digestive system, liver, or nervous system, note the researchers.

They included Mi-Na Kweon, PhD, chief of the mucosal immunology section at the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, South Korea. Their study appears in this week's online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The under-the-tongue flu vaccine isn't available yet. But flu shots and a nasal spray flu vaccine are on the market.

Getting vaccinated against the flu every year is the single best way to protect against the flu, according to the CDC. Flu season is already under way, but you can still get vaccinated, if you haven't already.

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