Advanced Healthcare Materials
Widespread vaccination is essential to global health. Significant barriers exist to improving vaccine coverage in lower- and middle-income countries, including the costly requirements for cold-chain distribution and trained medical personnel to administer the vaccines. A heat-stable and highly porous tablet vaccine that can be administered sublingually via simple dissolution under the tongue is described. SIMPL tablet vaccines (Supramolecular IMmunization with Peptides subLingually) are produced by freeze-drying a mixture of self-assembling peptide-polymer nanofibers, sugars, and adjuvant. Sublingual immunization with SIMPL tablets raises antibody responses against both a model epitope from ovalbumin and a clinically relevant epitope from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Further, sublingual antibody responses are not diminished after heating the tablets for 1 week at 45 °C, in contrast to a more conventional carrier vaccine (KLH). This approach directly addresses the need for a heat-stable and easily deliverable vaccine to improve equity in global vaccine coverage.