Scientists at Saint Louis University School of Medicine are investigating the use of an alternative method of administering flu vaccine. Unlike the standard needle, this method involves the use of ultrasound waves to open pores in the skin. A medicated patch would then be placed over the affected area to allow the medication into a person’s bloodstream. Doctor Robert Belshe, who heads the research, says this method would use a smaller dose of vaccine. That, he says, becomes important during years in which there is a shortage of vaccine. The pulse of soundwaves takes about 15 seconds and the skin returns to its normal state within 24 hours.