Modern Immunizations: Flaws and Imperfections

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In today’s society, vaccinations are a very important part of our regular health care routine. We begin vaccinating when a child is only two months old and they will continue to receive vaccinations throughout their life (Maldonado, 2002). The vaccinations we currently administer are not perfect. They were developed mainly using luck but we have had great success rates with them. There is still room for improvement. However normal this part of our lives seems, there are still many questions scientists have about the independent context in which they work and how to perfect vaccinations so that they are one hundred percent effective.
In the 2011 May edition of the Scientific American Journal, Alan Aderem discussed the results of the devastating failure of the attempt to eradicate the HIV virus. Not all diseases can be prevented and it is not yet known why. He goes on to explore what the necessary information researchers would have to discover to perfect vaccinations such as learning what immunological responses work together to protect us from diseases. Now researchers have access to tools that will help make these discoveries a possibility. Then the history of two successful vaccinations is given beginning with Edward Jenner’s original smallpox vaccination and the yellow fever vaccination. Next, he discusses how researchers have gone about trying to discover the appropriate immune response by studying monkeys infected with similar forms of diseases. The Merck vaccine for the HIV virus was an unexplained failure in 2007. It tried to activate killer T cells but when studied, the results proved that none of the predicted beneficial results were observed and many adverse effects were contracted. The article closes with the idea that ...

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...ruly perfect the vaccine. When that day comes, we will have to decide how we are going to distribute the vaccine. Would we make it a luxury for only developed nations or would we try to make it available to people all over the world? The pros and cons of both of these situations need to be thought out. Until that time comes, researchers need to focus on how to invent such a vaccine. Whether it is a successful version of the HIV vaccine or simply a lifetime immunity flu shot, we need to get a better concept of how our body uses its immune system to ward off the unwelcome invaders so that we may learn how to help assist it in becoming more efficient at its job. This does not mean that we need to come up with a vaccination for every virus that we could encounter, but rather we need to know how to produce these vaccines in case biological warfare would ever take place.

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