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Improving vaccine equity with novel technology platforms

Falo, Louis Dominick (2023) Improving vaccine equity with novel technology platforms. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The goal of global vaccine equity, the idea that vaccines should be allocated across all countries based on needs rather than economic status, comes across as a goal that everyone can agree on. The emergence of a global pandemic gave clarity to how constrained our vaccination methods currently are, shining a blinding light of realism on how out of reach our objective of global vaccine equity may be. If we are to continue with our current methods of vaccine development and distribution, standard intramuscular injection, this recurring global vaccine inequity crisis will likely prevail.

To address the inefficiencies of today’s approach toward global vaccination, we propose a new approach. Our thesis is that the solution to this global vaccine inequity crisis is new technology. Here, we propose to improve vaccine equity using novel technology platforms, specifically through the emerging biotechnology and key attributes of the microneedle array patch.

As a collective, the outline for this thesis is as follows: First, it is necessary to establish that there is a problem of vaccination inequity around the world. More so, though our current methods for global vaccine administration are not entirely ineffective, they fall short of fulfilling the need for global vaccine equity. After this has been established, we will analyze why it is necessary to take the risk in pivoting to a novel vaccination strategy, via dissolvable microneedle array patch delivery, as opposed to continuing our current strategy: why it is necessary to change what we are doing now. Then, we will support the argument for change by describing the technology and benefits it enables, the rationale for the vaccination approach, and preliminary studies that support feasibility. Together, we present the ethical, public health, technical, and scientific basis for a new focus on emerging technology to address global vaccine equity, and how this strategic shift can work.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Falo, Louis Dominickldf16@pitt.eduldf16
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorYou,
Committee MemberBorovetz,
Committee MemberAlbert,
Committee MemberShaun Xiaoliu,
Date: 25 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2023
Approval Date: 25 April 2023
Submission Date: 21 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 72
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Biological Sciences
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: improving vaccine equity novel technology platform microneedle microneedles
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2023 18:02
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2023 18:02


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