More Vaccines On The Horizon

January 18, 2012

Vaccination, Needle, ShotEarly last year, it was said that there were over 250 vaccines on the horizon, and now many of those vaccines are coming to fruition.A Hepatitis C VaccineFirst, there are several teams of scientists here and abroad working to create a vaccine for HCV(Hepatitis C Virus). Some are being tested as vaccines for treatment as well as prevention.The most recently successful Hepatitis C Vaccine completed its first phase of human testing demonstrating that it had no adverse side effects and that it could boost the immune system against Hepatitis C for at least 1 year (it was not tested directly against the virus—that will happen much later).

Since Hepatitis C is a changing virus (similar to HIV), the scientists took a different approach in creating the vaccine: stimulating T Cells that attack an internal (non-changing) part of the virus rather than creating antibodies that attack the changing outer side.

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are already mandatory vaccines in the US; 1.6% of the US population has been exposed to Hepatitis C, although a small percentage does not have chronic Hepatitis C—an immune response the Hepatitis C vaccine hopes to immitate. Among people born between 1945-1965 the rate of Hepatitis C is estimated to be at least 4.3%.

A Herpes Virus

STDs spread more easily than many people imagine, especially viruses that are spread through skin-to-skin contact rather strictly fluids, like Herpes (which infects about 1 in 4 people).

Because of the high rate of Herpes infections, a possible vaccine is receiving a lot of attention, although it’s still far from successful.

The closest one we have is already undergoing human testing—over 8000 sexually active women were given the Herpes vaccine or Hepatitis A vaccine, and then follow ups were performed to see what percentage developed Herpes.

The Herpes vaccine was mildly successful: it offered some protection, but not against both types of Herpes viruses (1 and 2), and it had slightly worse side effects than the Hepatitis A vaccine.

There will be several more years of development before the Herpes virus vaccine is close to ready.

What do you think of all these new vaccines? Post below:

{ 1 comment }

Delete May 30, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I will kill anybody approaching me with a syringe.

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