The technology, being developed by Cambridge University and the Cambridge Biostability company, could also free up millions of pounds in international vaccination programmes.
The technique, which could be available in five years, would allow the controlled release of vaccines over weeks or months.
The vaccine uses tiny particles, known as nanoparticles, which are insoluble in water but are eroded once in the body, to release the vaccine.
One type of particle would dissolve immediately, others at a later point.
Dr Bruce Roser, chief scientific adviser at Cambridge Biostability, said: "By this mechanism we can get the vaccine out over a long period."