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3n.2 What other research is being done to improve vaccines?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

3n.2 What other research is being done to improve vaccines?

Research is being done to improve existing vaccines (such as the
research which resulted in the new acellular pertussis vaccine). This
includes efforts to decrease the number of visits, the number of
doses, and the number of injections, to move immunization as early in
life as possible (including research into the value of giving vaccines
to pregnant women to provide protection to infants very early in
life), to decrease adverse effects, to increase protection, and to
increase thermal stability. One area being explored is whether it is
possible to combine more vaccines in a single
shot. Micro-encapsulation is an attempt to encase vaccines in
microcapsules which will be released over time, mimicking repeated
injections. Trans-disease vaccinology is an attempt, by genetic
engineering, to create vaccines which protect against more than one
disease. Efforts are also under way to produce a heat-resistant polio
vaccine. (Hartveldt) (There is also a United Press International
article from 3/25/94, included in the CDC AIDS Daily Summary for March
28, 1994, which discusses the effort to make a vaccine which will be
effective against a variety of different viruses.)

A major vaccine safety problem is the widespread reuse of syringes in
developing countries, due to scarcity, resale value, and cultural
resistance to waste. In response to this problem, monodose, disposable
vaccines, and solid, non-injected vaccines are being looked at. Solid
vaccines would also eliminate the cost of keeping vaccines cold (a
major factor in vaccine delivery costs, and reduce the cost of wasted
vaccines. Other research on different vaccine delivery methods
includes work on an intranasal flu vaccine and on an aerosol measles
vaccine.

 

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