Here’s 4 of Our Greatest Vaccine Achievements
All eyes are on COVID-19 vaccines, with Australia’s first expected to be approved for use shortly.
But their development in record time, without compromising on safety, wouldn’t have been possible without the development of other vaccines before them.
Here’s what we’ve learned from other vaccines over the past 200 years or so that allowed us to go from the discovery of the virus we now know as SARS-CoV-2, to regulatory approval in some countries in less than a year.
Cowpox and smallpox are part of the poxvirus family. Both share characteristics the immune system recognises. By inoculating people with cowpox, Jenner produced cross-protection against smallpox infection.
The first widely used polio vaccines were developed in the 1950s using newly available methods, known as tissue culture, to grow the virus in the lab.
Tissue culture allowed researchers to grow and inactivate poliovirus, or grow a live form of the virus that was attenuated (or weakened), to form the basis of vaccines that could be given orally. These were distributed in the late 50s.
Researchers still use variants of these early tissue culture techniques to research and develop vaccines today.
4. Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough)
The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccine was combination vaccine. In other words, it was the first vaccine to prevent against multiple diseases. Combination vaccines continue to provide benefits to immunisation schedules by reducing the number of injections required.
These DTP combination vaccines are part of the Australian National Immunisation Program Schedule, and further vaccines have since been added to the mix.
DTP vaccines can now be delivered as a single injection with Haemophilus influenzae type b and poliovirus vaccine. Other combination DTP-based vaccines are also available.
Australian scientist Eddie Holmes then tweeted a link to the SARS-CoV-2 genome:
Despite extensive efforts to develop vaccines, diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis still kill millions of people each year.
(This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article here.)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.