Newborn Vaccine Breakthrough

Written by dad - 2 Comments

Traditionally, doctors have been unable to vaccinate infants under two months of age due to an immature immune system that is incapable of mounting an adequate response to the vaccine. But researchers at the Children’s Hospital in Boston have found that stimulation of a molecule known as ‘Toll-like receptor 8’ (TLR-8) can boost the immune response, potentially allowing for effective infant vaccination. In short, delivery of a compound that stimulates TLR-8 production alongside a vaccine could boost the neonatal vaccine response to acceptable levels. According to the study’s lead author, this means that babies in developing countries could be vaccinated shortly after birth, before they fall out of contact with the healthcare system. Given the preliminary nature of their results, it’ll be interesting to see how this turns out in the long run.

[Source: BBC News]

Published on April 27th, 2006 - 2 Comments
Filed under: Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Not having kids I wouldn’t know, but would it save a lot of lives if you could vaccinate kids under 2 months old?

    Comment by jim — Apr 29th 2006 @ 5:18 pm
  2. There are a couple of factors at work here… One is the death rate of kids under two months. In developed countries, this isn’t that high, so early vaccinations might not help as much as in developing countries. The other thing that you have to consider is that a lot of times (especially in developing countries) there’s not much contact with the healthcare system after birth. In the absence of regular ‘well-child’ checkups, there may not be an opportunity to immunize kids later in life, so early vaccination could have a huge impact.

    Comment by dad — Apr 30th 2006 @ 8:58 am

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