Science Questions

Why isn't there a vaccine for hayfever?

Sat, 21st May 2011

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@Puffles2010 asked:

Why isn't there a vaccine for hayfever?


Rick -   Vaccines boost and stimulate the immune system and the problem with hayfever is an over reactive, unnecessarily reactive immune system.  So really, we need an anti-vaccine.  I guess because itís easier to start an immune response than stop one, weíre likely able to have a single shot, but that's as Pam was telling you, maybe a more softly-softly approach could work.

Chris -   Pam, anything to add to that?

Pam -   Well, there is a special desensitising vaccine that you can use for pollen allergy which works quite well, so that's not a normal sort of vaccine as Rick was saying which would stimulate the immune system, but there is an allergy vaccine which can work.

Chris -   Is that sort of using the same principle as your gently-gently, softly-softly approach to peanut stimulation?

Pam -   Itís different.  No, itís doing it by injection, so itís giving an injection into the skin.  So, that systemic sort of stimulation to the body, but otherwise, similar principle, yes.


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