Vaccine preventable diseases & potential new vaccines

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) “vaccines work to safeguard children from illnesses and death caused by infectious diseases. Vaccines protect children by helping prepare their bodies to fight often serious and potentially deadly diseases.”

They claim that there is a vaccine for 27 vaccine preventable diseases; diseases such as Rabies, Yellow Fever, etc. There are 25 vaccines used in the United States.

They state that vaccine-preventable disease levels are at or near record lows. Even though most infants and toddlers have received all recommended vaccines by age 2, many under-immunized children remain, leaving the potential for outbreaks of disease. Many adolescents and adults are under-immunized as well, missing opportunities to protect themselves against diseases such as Hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal disease. CDC works closely with public health agencies and private partners to improve and sustain immunization coverage and to monitor the safety of vaccines so that this public health success story can be maintained and expanded in the century to come.

There are also several new potential vaccines that the CDC is looking into. For example, a vaccine in the event of a bioterror attack involving smallpox or anthrax, a HIV vaccine, and a Plasmid-based DNA vaccine. The following information was taken from the Immunization Action Coalition.

“Bioterrorism poses a daunting challenge to global security and public health in the 21st century. Variola major virus, the etiological agent of smallpox and Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial pathogen responsible for anthrax, remain at the apex of potential pathogens that could be used in a bioterror attack to inflict mass casualties. Although licensed vaccines are available for both smallpox and anthrax, because of inadequacies associated with each of these vaccines, serious concerns remain as to the deployability of these vaccines, especially in the aftermath of a bioterror attack involving these pathogens. We have developed a single vaccine (Wyeth/IL-15/PA) using the licensed Wyeth smallpox vaccine strain that is efficacious against both smallpox and anthrax. Our dual vaccine Wyeth/IL-15/PA remedies the inadequacies associated with the licensed vaccines, and the inherent ability of Wyeth vaccinia virus to be lyophilized without loss of potency makes it cold-chain independent, thus simplifying the logistics of storage, stockpiling, and field delivery in the event of a bioterror attack involving smallpox or anthrax.”

“The search for an HIV/AIDS vaccine is steadily moving ahead, generating and validating new concepts in terms of novel vectors for antigen delivery and presentation, new vaccine and adjuvant strategies, alternative approaches to design HIV-1 antigens for eliciting protective cross-neutralising antibodies, and identification of key mechanisms in HIV infection and modulation of the immune system. All these different perspectives are contributing to the unprecedented challenge of developing a protective HIV-1 vaccine. The high scientific value of this massive effort is its great impact on vaccinology as a whole, providing invaluable scientific information for the current and future development of new preventive vaccine as well as therapeutic knowledge-based infectious-disease and cancer vaccines.”

“Parasitic diseases are one of the most devastating causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although immunization against these infections would be an ideal solution, the development of effective vaccines has been hampered by specific challenges posed by parasitic pathogens. Plasmid-based DNA vaccines may prove to be promising immunization tools in this area because vectors can be designed to integrate several antigens from different stages of the parasite life cycle or different subspecies; vaccines, formulations and immunization protocols can be tuned to match the immune response that offers protective immunity; and DNA vaccination is an affordable platform for developing countries. Partial and full protective immunity have been reported following DNA vaccination against the most significant parasitic diseases in the world.”

These are just 3 of the 4 potential ones listed from 2010. There are also several listed for previous years.

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