Implants have long been used in the field of drug delivery as controlled release vehicles and are now being investigated as single-shot vaccine technologies. Implants have shown great promise, minimizing the need for multiple immunizations while stimulating potent immune responses with reduced doses of vaccine. Synchronous release of vaccine components from implants over an appropriate period of time is important in order to avoid issues including immune tolerance, sequestration or deletion. Traditionally, implants require surgical implantation and removal, which can be a barrier to their widespread use. Degradable and in situ implants are now being developed that can be administered using minimally invasive subcutaneous or intramuscular injection techniques. Injectable hydrogels remain the most commonly studied approach for sustained vaccine delivery due to their ease of administration and tunable degradation properties. Despite exciting advancements in the field of vaccine implants, few technologies have progressed to clinical trials. To increase the likelihood of clinical translation of vaccine implants, strategic testing of disease-relevant antigens in appropriate species is essential. In this review, the significance of vaccine implants and the different types of implants being developed to deliver vaccines are discussed.

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