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Medicine Science

Researchers Investigating Self-Boosting Vaccines 218

An anonymous reader writes "Vaccines, contrary to opinions from the anti-science crowd, are some of the most effective tools in modern medicine. For some diseases, a single shot is all it takes for lifetime immunity. Others, though, require booster shots, to remind your immune system exactly what it should prepare to fight. Failure to get these shots threatens an individual's health, and the herd immunity concept as well. Scientists are now looking into 'self-boosting' vaccines in order to fix that problem. Some viruses are capable of remaining in the body for a person's entire lifetime. If researchers can figure out a way to safely harness these, it may be possible to add genes that would create proteins to train the immune system against not just one, but multiple other viruses (abstract). This is a difficult problem to solve; changing the way we do vaccinations will itself have consequences for herd immunity. It also hinges on finding a virus that can survive the immune system without having uncomfortable flare-ups from time to time."
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Researchers Investigating Self-Boosting Vaccines

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  • by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @11:36AM (#42087043)

    Even better: "Not getting your shorts [sic] threatens the herd immunity concept'. This last one is really a blatant admission that their crap doesn't work in the first place. It shouldn't matter if the person next to you wasn't dumb enough to take their shots, after all you took the vaccine, you're protected, right??

    No, you Anonymous Coward dumbass - That's not how herd immunity works.

    Imagine everyone in a kindergarten is vaccinated against smallpox but Fred's vaccine didn't work and for whatever reason Fred isn't immune to smallpox (biology is never 100%). However, Fred remains protected against smallpox because the rest of his class ("his herd") is immune, so the virus doesn't get the chance to leap to him.

    Now imagine 10 kids in Fred's class are NOT vaccinated against smallpox - Now the virus has a chance to take hold and infect Fred, even though he's vaccinated. Fred has lost the benefit of the immunity of the herd.

    Vaccination works because a) the immunity takes hold on the majority and b) we live in herds.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!