The researchers believe the vaccine could be effective and they have identified no adverse effects of the powdered and inhaled vaccine when tested in 60 healthy men who were already immune to measles.

"Delivering vaccines in the conventional way, with needle injections, poses some serious challenges, especially in resource-poor parts of the world," said Robert Sievers, co-author of the new paper and professor at University of Colorado, Boulder.

In 2013, measles killed 145,700 people, most of them children, according to the World Health Organization. That is despite the fact that the conventional injectable vaccine against the measles virus is effective.

The researchers innovated a dry delivery technique for the measles vaccine to eliminate the need for injections, liquid storage, and other challenges, such as vaccine contamination. The new paper represents the first successful Phase I clinical trial for a dry powder vaccine, Sievers said.

The next phase of tests could include workin people who are not yet immune to measles, including women and children. The study appeared online in the journal of Vaccine.

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