Agence de Médecine Préventive (AMP) has been mandated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct an evaluation of the acceptability and usability of the microarray patch (MAP) for immunization in developing countries.

The MAP consists of a small flat disc approximately 1cm in diameter that has thousands of invisible micro-projections coated with vaccine on its surface. The MAP is applied to the surface of the skin, using a small button-like applicator, for up to 30 seconds while the vaccine is administered. Some of the advantage of the MAP over the conventional needle and syringe are that it will likely reduce cold chain requirements, it is easier and less painful to administer, and may not require sharps waste disposal. This novel method of delivering vaccines could significantly increase immunization coverage for measles/rubella and polio and support Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s goal of eliminating polio, measles, and rubella by 2030. 

The purpose of the study is to assess the user acceptability and the usability of this type of device by using a dummy patch that contains neither micro-projections nor vaccine. The objective is to evaluate various MAP characteristics such as wear time, comfort, volume, design, and the opinions of health care workers, as well as care givers, following a demonstration or the application of a mock device.

The study is implemented in three Gavi supported countries: Benin, Nepal, and Vietnam. The study proposal has been approved by WHO ethical review committee, and is currently being reviewed by each country’s ethical review boards. Data will be collected in the second quarter of 2017 and study findings will be disseminated at the end of 2017.