What Is Vaccine Therapy?

Glyn Sinclair

Vaccine therapy is a method of treating a variety of illnesses and diseases by injecting solutions into the body that may stimulate the immune system and eradicate tumors, bacteria, and viruses. Some vaccine therapies can include vaccines for Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis B, antibiotic therapy to combat bacterial infections, and vaccines to fight cervical and liver cancer. Vaccine therapy for cancer typically has two main categories; preventive vaccines and treatment vaccines. The preventive vaccine seeks to prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, and treatment vaccines attempt to boost the body’s immune system to try and eradicate an existing cancer. The method behind this procedure is to train the immune system by injecting a substance that somewhat resembles the disease organism, and then train the immune system to recognize the organism and eradicate it.

A small syringe and vaccine vial.
A small syringe and vaccine vial.

There are a host of infectious diseases that vaccine therapy may be beneficial for. Some of these infectious diseases can include malaria, tetanus, meningitis and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Although vaccine therapy is often effective, there are instances when it does not fully protect the patient from the particular disease. This could be because the immune system itself does not react in the desired fashion or the fact that it is too compromised by the disease to fight against it. Certain people simply do not respond to vaccine therapy and are unable to develop antibodies.

Oral vaccines.
Oral vaccines.

The efficacy of vaccine therapy is clear, with large decreases in contagious diseases and deaths; however, there are some that oppose it. Even within the medical field, some question the efficacy of certain vaccines and there are a number of groups that oppose it on religious grounds. There are some political parties that are against mandatory vaccinations as they feel this program infringes on personal liberties. There are a number of economic issues that create dilemmas for vaccine therapy development.

Companies that develop and test vaccines for diseases are less inclined to manufacture the therapies when there is no great financial return. Many of the world’s diseases tend to be found in poor countries, and as such they are generally not serviced as well as richer countries. When this happens, very often governments and other organizations may step in and help fund the vaccine research and development. There are many vaccine therapy studies that are ongoing and these include vaccine testing for brain tumors, lung cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer and Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Vaccine therapy involves the injection of solutions into the body.
Vaccine therapy involves the injection of solutions into the body.

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