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Colorado Mom & Daughter Team Helps World With Needle-Free Shots

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother and daughter team in Colorado is working to make shots with needle-free injections. They’re already bringing their technology to other countries, but they’re having trouble selling it here at home.

Needle-free shots have been around for decades, but the inventors claim this one is simpler, safer and more affordable.

Last November, 6,000 children in Cambodia got shots without the stick. It was a pilot program to test a new needle-free injector. It’s a device developed by a Coloradan with a cause.

“My mission really was to make a difference in global world health,” dental hygienist Kathy Callendar said.

Callendar started PharmaJet. She studied current needle-free technology and designed prototypes until settling on one simple device.

“This is the injector. There’s a spring in the base of this injector,” Callendar said.

The spring fires medicine from a disposable syringe that can’t be re-used. It’s like a liquid needle.

“In this case it’s delivered in less than a third of a second before your eyes can even blink,” Callendar said. “You can’t say it’s pain free, but most people say, ‘That wasn’t so bad.’ “

What’s good is health care workers, like those in Cambodia, don’t risk accidentally getting a needle stick.

“We’ve been also working in Pakistan most recently,” Callendar’s daughter Heather Callendar-Potters said.

Callendar-Potters is the business brains of PharmaJet.

“We know that we can do well and do good,” Callendar-Potters said.

They are working with 20 different countries. The injector is Food and Drug Administration approved, but use of it for flu vaccines in the U.S. stopped last fall when another arm of the agency recommended another study. But Callendar-Potters remains positive. She hopes to be in the flu shot business next fall and eventually get the world unstuck.

Callendar says the device has a warranty for 20,000 injections. She says it’s a way to work smarter, not sharper.

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