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New Polio Vaccine

sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
This appears to be quite a victory. A new vaccine is being introduced because one of the strains of wild Polio appears to have been completely wiped out (it was last identified in the wild in 1999). What do you all think? Is this a wise move or would it have been better to continue to inoculate for the type 2 wild strain? I'm personally particularly interested in those with the education and experience to provide informed opinions. That said, it is obviously an open forum.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/17/474580802/new-polio-vaccine-rolled-out-in-massive-synchronized-worldwide-switch

Replies

  • MissusMoonMissusMoon Posts: 1,911Member Member Posts: 1,911Member Member
    I don't have a background in immunology so I can't offer an educated opinion. My peanut gallery opinion is progress in this respect is always good. I am glad to find that this is not an anti-vaxxer nonsense thread.
  • Pinkylee77Pinkylee77 Posts: 432Member Member Posts: 432Member Member
    I recently did some reading on world vaccination day at the World Health Organization web site for a class I am taking. Very interesting stuff. If it is truly irradiated no need to immunize. The WHO will keep stocks so if it does pop up in the future they can start immunizing again.
  • tomtebodatomteboda Posts: 2,176Member Member Posts: 2,176Member Member
    This is truly amazing news. I've studied immunology at the graduate level and honestly they wouldn't be doing this if the risk was gone. Polio is a devastating disease, it's absolutely amazing how far we've come in fighting it.

    Vaccination doesn't come without risks, though they are very small. However, in the case of polio vaccination, we have to consider that the live vaccine can cause outbreaks of the disease as well. These are generally far more limited in scope than wild outbreaks, but it makes absolutely NO sense to spread polio when the wild disease is gone.
    edited April 2016
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    tomteboda wrote: »
    This is truly amazing news. I've studied immunology at the graduate level and honestly they wouldn't be doing this if the risk was gone. Polio is a devastating disease, it's absolutely amazing how far we've come in fighting it.

    Vaccination doesn't come without risks, though they are very small. However, in the case of polio vaccination, we have to consider that the live vaccine can cause outbreaks of the disease as well. These are generally far more limited in scope than wild outbreaks, but it makes absolutely NO sense to spread polio when the wild disease is gone.

    Thank you.
  • FuzzipegFuzzipeg Posts: 1,873Member Member Posts: 1,873Member Member
    I'm in favour of vaccinations which are proved to be safe, against things which are ongoing problems in a community. I'm more concerned about the preservatives which are used in these vaccinations. Years ago when I was a child they used to use mercury! I simply wonder what they are using now and if it has been adequately researched for negative effects. I hope science will have taken this into account.

    In daily life we are exposed to many more chemicals than I was as a child and I'm not convinced this is a good idea in general.
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    I'm in favour of vaccinations which are proved to be safe, against things which are ongoing problems in a community. I'm more concerned about the preservatives which are used in these vaccinations. Years ago when I was a child they used to use mercury! I simply wonder what they are using now and if it has been adequately researched for negative effects. I hope science will have taken this into account.

    In daily life we are exposed to many more chemicals than I was as a child and I'm not convinced this is a good idea in general.

    What you posted has nothing to do with the question.
  • Pinkylee77Pinkylee77 Posts: 432Member Member Posts: 432Member Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    I'm in favour of vaccinations which are proved to be safe, against things which are ongoing problems in a community. I'm more concerned about the preservatives which are used in these vaccinations. Years ago when I was a child they used to use mercury! I simply wonder what they are using now and if it has been adequately researched for negative effects. I hope science will have taken this into account.

    In daily life we are exposed to many more chemicals than I was as a child and I'm not convinced this is a good idea in general.

    Not really
  • ReaderGirl3ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868Member Member Posts: 868Member Member
    MissusMoon wrote: »
    I don't have a background in immunology so I can't offer an educated opinion. My peanut gallery opinion is progress in this respect is always good. I am glad to find that this is not an anti-vaxxer nonsense thread.

    This. Just from reading the article it sounds amazing that we're actually eliminating a vaccine component because that strain is no longer a threat. And yeah, vaccine threads can be a bowl of 'fun' :p I'm actually in a bit of a unique position, because I'm 'pro-vaccination' and I have a child who's actually had a reaction to one of the infant vaccinations (lethargic, high fever, wouldn't nurse etc, ended up in the ER). We got it pinned down to the dtap vaccination and we continued vaccinating my son, but on a delayed/select schedule. No further issues and by the time he was 5 he was back on the normal schedule and hasn't had any other issues :)
    edited April 2016
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    MissusMoon wrote: »
    I don't have a background in immunology so I can't offer an educated opinion. My peanut gallery opinion is progress in this respect is always good. I am glad to find that this is not an anti-vaxxer nonsense thread.

    This. Just from reading the article it sounds amazing that we're actually eliminating a vaccine component because that strain is no longer a threat. And yeah, vaccine threads can be a bowl of 'fun' :p I'm actually in a bit of a unique position, because I'm 'pro-vaccination' and I have a child who's actually had a reaction to one of the infant vaccinations (lethargic, high fever, wouldn't nurse etc, ended up in the ER). We got it pinned down to the dtap vaccination and we continued vaccinating my son, but on a delayed/select schedule. No further issues and by the time he was 5 he was back on the normal schedule and hasn't had any other issues :)

    The question has nothing to do with being pro or anti vaccine. It assumes pro given the request for educated opinions regarding a specific vaccine change. That said, I'm guessing this will go seriously off topic into that subject.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    Fuzzipeg wrote: »
    I'm in favour of vaccinations which are proved to be safe, against things which are ongoing problems in a community. I'm more concerned about the preservatives which are used in these vaccinations. Years ago when I was a child they used to use mercury! I simply wonder what they are using now and if it has been adequately researched for negative effects. I hope science will have taken this into account.

    In daily life we are exposed to many more chemicals than I was as a child and I'm not convinced this is a good idea in general.

    Just so you know, they didn't use mercury, per se. They used (and still use) thimoseral, an antiseptic/antifungal agent that has mercury as part of it's structure. It's still used as a preservative in various adult vaccines in extremely minute amounts.

    The biggest actual (as opposed to speculative) problem with thimoseral is that it is an irritant or allergen for some. It's a problem for me. It also used to be in contact cleaning solution. My eyes would turn bright red and have a low-level burning sensation for hours if there was a trace left on the contacts when they went back in my eyes. I get sore and have minor swelling if given a flu vax containing thimeroseral.

    I always ask for the vax without it, but my workplace doesn't always have it on hand when it's my group's time to get one.
  • stealthqstealthq Posts: 4,307Member Member Posts: 4,307Member Member
    As far as the article, I've not heard any scuttlebutt about it so it's a good bet there's basically no controversy about it in the Immunology field*. Part of my department is heavily involved in vaccine research and development.

    * i.e. no outstanding reason to keep an unnecessary vaccine around, and no reason to think the strain still exists in some unknown reservoir somewhere.
  • DnarulesDnarules Posts: 1,968Member Member Posts: 1,968Member Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    As far as the article, I've not heard any scuttlebutt about it so it's a good bet there's basically no controversy about it in the Immunology field*. Part of my department is heavily involved in vaccine research and development.

    * i.e. no outstanding reason to keep an unnecessary vaccine around, and no reason to think the strain still exists in some unknown reservoir somewhere.

    There actually is some controversy here. Not all virologists believe this is the best route to take; it most definitely isn't risk free. Google "this week in virology" and search for polio. They covered this in a podcast. The host is a polio guy, and it is incredibly interesting stuff. It is not as straightforward as it seems.

  • GiddyupTimGiddyupTim Posts: 2,769Member Member Posts: 2,769Member Member
    My understanding is that, while yes, the new vaccine, which has fewer components, is a victory, it is also in some ways a bit of a disappointment.
    Back in the 1980s, an initiative spearheaded by UNICEF and Rotary to eradicate polio in 20 years was announced. It seemed possible and early on appeared to make progress. The last natural case of polio in the Americas occurred in 1991 (Peru) and the last case in Europe occurred before 2000 (Turkey). They thought, at that time, that only some remote parts of Africa still had wild polio, and that the end of the fight was in sight. Alas, the Soviet Union. Some cases turned up in Kazakhstan or Afghanistan, or someplace like that.
    Obviously, the 20-year deadline has been missed. It is really hard to completely eradicate a viral disease.
    It is thought that wild polio infections occur now in just two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and those may be the among worst places possible for them to be occurring. There are Islamic militants there. They are suspicious of the West and lots of other stuff and they have shot people giving vaccine.
    This "vaccine switch" they talk about is rather tricky and it does not effect the United States. We give kids a shot and it is an "inactivated" vaccine. (since 2000?) In much of the rest of the world they give a "live" vaccine and it is given by mouth. The oral vaccine has had three different, distinct, types of polio virus in it. These viruses are not "dead," as are those in the "inactivated" vaccine, but they are weakened, so that they can prompt a protective, immune response but cannot infect nerve cells and cause paralysis.
    However, here is the problem, and the reason for the vaccine switch: Live vaccine can, and does, very infrequently cause cases of polio disease. More relevant to the switch, a virus in a live vaccine can revert, if it starts getting passed from person to person. One of the types of polio in the present vaccine no longer occurs naturally. So they are taking it out, before it potentially reverts, and the three-component vaccine being used around the world will become a two-component vaccine.
    Ergo, this is great news that there is serious progress and a type of polio has been eradicated. But we also have to temper our enthusiasm and realize that we have thought that we were close to eradication in the past, and it proved more tenacious than we had hoped.
    On a side note, we still have cases of polio in this country, of a sort. Post-polio syndrome. People who got polio in the 1940s and early 1950s, and may have thought they got over it with little, or minimal, paralysis, sometimes begin to get symptoms again as they get older. It seems the virus re-emerges. Of course, there are not a lot of these people left anymore, but there are more than you would think.
  • lkpduckylkpducky Posts: 9,510Member Member Posts: 9,510Member Member
    tomteboda wrote: »
    Vaccination doesn't come without risks, though they are very small. However, in the case of polio vaccination, we have to consider that the live vaccine can cause outbreaks of the disease as well. These are generally far more limited in scope than wild outbreaks, but it makes absolutely NO sense to spread polio when the wild disease is gone.

    This WHO link gives that explanation about the chances of getting polio from the vaccine compared with getting it elsewhere:

    http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/poliomyelitis/endgame_objective2/rationale/en/index7.html
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Posts: 7,623Member Member Posts: 7,623Member Member
    @sunnybeaches105 It sounds like a step forward for sure improving the safety/effectiveness of our vaccine available.
  • sunnybeaches105sunnybeaches105 Posts: 2,846Member Member Posts: 2,846Member Member
    lkpducky wrote: »
    tomteboda wrote: »
    Vaccination doesn't come without risks, though they are very small. However, in the case of polio vaccination, we have to consider that the live vaccine can cause outbreaks of the disease as well. These are generally far more limited in scope than wild outbreaks, but it makes absolutely NO sense to spread polio when the wild disease is gone.

    This WHO link gives that explanation about the chances of getting polio from the vaccine compared with getting it elsewhere:

    http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/poliomyelitis/endgame_objective2/rationale/en/index7.html

    It's truly remarkable how successful this program has been. I grew up hearing stories from my mother (a public health RN) of the iron lung and polio's devastation here in the U.S. Here we are with world-wide elimination of one of the strains. Pretty impressive.
    edited April 2016
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