Another advantage that patch has over its forebears: the vaccine in the microneedles is present as a dry formulation, which improves its stability during storage and distribution.
For developing countries, the patch is a boon in more ways than one. Poor medical infrastructure frequently results in the reuse of hypodermic needles, a key contributor in the spread of diseases like HIV and hepatitis B. The dissolving microneedle patch would eliminate shared needles, while allowing vaccinations to be be performed by staff with minimal training.
The patch is expected to cost about the same as regular needle-and-syringe combos, but it could even lower the overall cost of immunization programs by reducing the need for expert personnel or waste disposal.