For those who love their furry feline companions but get teary-eyed, itchy, and sneezy when they share a home, scientists at McMaster University have developed a vaccine to prevent allergy symptoms from exposure to cats.
The vaccine is still in testing and a few years from market, but so far research shows that it’s a better alternative that the traditional allergy shot that suffering pet owners have to get 6-8 times a year. The vaccine has fewer side effects, and while initial tests are injecting the vaccine at a similar rate, one result of the research yet-to-come may be fewer shots in the long run.
About 10% of the population has an allergy to cats, and of that 10%, not everyone will benefit from the vaccine. The vaccine is based on the most common allergy-inducing protein from cat fur, and from that uses similar shaped peptides to prevent the immune system from over-responding to the protein. Further testing will reveal what percentage the vaccine is effective for.
As always, the real risk with vaccines (and the incredibly fast-growing number in production and queued to be recommended or required) is the preservative they are shipped in, which often contains aluminum, among other known neuro-toxins. For people already receiving allergy shots, this vaccine may be an alternative that reduces their exposure to chemicals. For everyone else, it may be an extraneous exposure.
What do you think? Any cat lovers excited to see how this vaccine plays out?