Intradermal delivery of vaccines: potential benefits and current challenges
JK Hickling, KR Jones, M Friede, D Zehrung, D Chen & D Kristensen
Delivery of vaccine antigens to the dermis and/or epidermis of human skin (i.e. intradermal delivery) might be more efficient than injection into the muscle or subcutaneous tissue, thereby reducing the volumes of antigen. This is known as dose-sparing and has been demonstrated in clinical trials with some, but not all, vaccines. Dose-sparing could be beneficial to immunization programmes by potentially reducing the costs of purchase, distribution and storage of vaccines; increasing vaccine availability and effectiveness. The data obtained with intradermal delivery of some vaccines are encouraging and warrant further study and development; however significant gaps in knowledge and operational challenges such as reformulation, optimizing vaccine presentation and development of novel devices to aid intradermal vaccine delivery need to be addressed. Modelling of the costs and potential savings resulting from intradermal delivery should be done to provide realistic expectations of the potential benefits and to support cases for investment. Implementation and uptake of intradermal vaccine delivery requires further research and development, which depends upon collaboration between multiple stakeholders in the field of vaccination.