The potential role of using vaccine patches to induce immunity: platform and pathways to innovation and commercialization

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020 Feb;19(2):175-194. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1732215. Epub 2020 Mar 17.


Introduction: In the last two decades, the evidence related to using vaccine patches with multiple short projections (≤1 mm) to deliver vaccines through the skin increased significantly and demonstrated their potential as an innovative delivery platform.Areas covered: We review the vaccine patch literature published in English as of 1 March 2019, as well as available information from key stakeholders related to vaccine patches as a platform. We identify key research topics related to basic and translational science on skin physical properties and immunobiology, patch development, and vaccine manufacturing.Expert opinion: Currently, vaccine patch developers continue to address some basic science and other platform issues in the context of developing a potential vaccine patch presentation for an existing or new vaccine. Additional clinical data and manufacturing experience could shift the balance toward incentivizing existing vaccine manufactures to further explore the use of vaccine patches to deliver their products. Incentives for innovation of vaccine patches differ for developed and developing countries, which will necessitate different strategies (e.g. public-private partnerships, push, or pull mechanisms) to support the basic and applied research needed to ensure a strong evidence base and to overcome translational barriers for vaccine patches as a delivery platform.

Keywords: Vaccine; human skin; microarray patch; microneedle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Transdermal Patch
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Vaccines