People who are afraid of needles usually get their annual flu vaccine in mist form.
But this past year the CDC said the mist was ineffective, leaving needle-phobes with the choice of facing their fear or going unprotected.
Now there's a new alternative to the shot.
Flu patch researcher Dr. Nadine Rouphael says, "In the US, only 40 percent of adults get the flu shot."
But that could change according to results of an early clinical trial conducted by Emory University and researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
"A micro needle patch to a person using it, looks a lot like a Band-Aid or a nicotine patch, but if you zoom in under the microscope, what you'll see is that they are some microscopically large needles, they puncture painlessly into the skin, they dissolve, encapsulated within those micro needles is the vaccine which is then released into the skin after a few minutes," said flu patch researcher Dr. Mark Praunsnitz.
He also says "We compared the immune response of a regular injection to that associated with a micro needle patch and they were similar to one another. The micro needle patch might even be a little better."
Researchers say one group of people in the trial used the patched on themselves.
Dr. Praunsnitz says they did so successfully.
He also says, "someday, we hope in the near future people will be able to go to the store, pick up patches for themselves and the family, bring them home, put them on and as a result it will be much more accessible for people to get the vaccine."