Seattle research institute developing pain-free vaccinations

A research institute in Seattle is developing a new concept that could revolutionize vaccinations for kids scared of needles.

And as new research shows fewer parents have opted out of child vaccinations, a pain-free shot could be just the thing scared little tots want to see.   

Pain Free Vaccines of Seattle has worked on a product which uses a series of tiny needles – instead of one big needle – to administer vaccines. The device is in the developmental stages, but could be in doctors’ offices by 2014, treating polio, measles and other diseases.  

Steven Reed, the President of the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle, said he thinks pain-free vaccines like the ones being developed by the Seattle research institute are the wave of the future.

“In the future we think that’s where vaccines will go,” Reed said. “Painless.”

Reed said the pain-free vaccines target the cells of the immune system responsible for immunity, as opposed to a normal shot where the vaccine goes straight into a muscle. A patient could administer the vaccine at home, Reed said, and the elimination of pain might lead to more people getting vaccinated.

“I think more people will be immunized and the vaccines might be more effective which means fewer doses could be used,” Reed said.

Debbie Puetz, the mother of 6-year-old Blake, said if a pain-free vaccines leads to more immunizations, she’s all for it. Like many parents, Puetz was a little wary of vaccinations that she had heard might spur autism in young children. But despite her fears, she said the benefits of vaccinations were too great to pass up.  

“You hear things and it causes concerns,” Puetz said. “I did research. The benefits definitely outweigh the concerns.”

Doctor Drew Fillipo said many parents seek information on vaccinations before getting their child a shot. The research parents do, he said, leads to more vaccinations in general.  The basic vaccines recommended by the national committee are the most important things you can do for a child’s health, he said.

Fillipo said scares over vaccines causing autism in children were greatly overblown. Studies have started to show that vaccinating a child may actually decrease the child’s chances of developing autism, Fillipo said, a fact that could further increase the number of immunizations.