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Abstract Objectives Vaccination is considered the most successful health intervention; yet incomplete immunisation coverage continues to risk outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases worldwide. Vaccination coverage improvement through a single-dose prime-boost technology would revolutionise modern vaccinology, impacting on disease prevalence, significantly benefiting health care and lowering economic burden of disease. Key findings Over the past 30 years, there have been efforts to develop a single-dose delayed release vaccine technology that could replace the repeated prime-boost immunisations required for many current vaccines. Biocompatible polymers have been employed to encapsulate model vaccines for delayed delivery in vivo, using either continuous or pulsed release. Biomaterial considerations, safety aspects, particle characteristics and immunological aspects of this approach are discussed in detail. Summary Despite many studies showing the feasibility of vaccine encapsulation for single-dose prime-boost administration, none have been translated into convincing utility in animal models or human trials. Further development of the encapsulation technology, through optimising the particle composition, formulation, antigen loading efficacy and stability, could lead to the application of this important approach in vaccine deployment. If successful, this would provide a solution to better global vaccination coverage through a reduction in the number of immunisations needed to achieve protection against infectious diseases. This review provides an overview of single-dose vaccination in the context of today's vaccine needs and is derived from a body of literature that has not been reviewed for over a decade.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





400 - 408