How these new vaccines are revolutionising healthcare

Susannah Hickling 14 June 2022

With so much focus on the COVID vaccine, it’s easy to forget about other exciting developments in the world of immunisation

Cervical cancer

A vaccine against HPV, which causes most cases of cervical cancer, was first offered to teenage girls in the UK in 2008.

A recent study from King’s College London and the UK Health Security Agency found a reduction of nearly 90 per cent in cervical cancer cases among vaccinated women.

Other cancers

Experts at Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago, found that if they injected tumours in the lab with flu shots, the cancer became more recognisable to the immune system.

This could pave the way for immunotherapy, which uses the immune system to treat cancer cells.

Scientists in Australia have already developed a vaccine they hope may be able to activate the immune system to fight a number of different cancers, including leukaemia, breast, lung and pancreatic cancers.

Heart failure

Flu vaccine and needleThe flu vaccine could help reduce heart failure and Alzheimer's, on top of innoculating us against influenza

A study of nearly 3 million Americans found that people who had been inoculated against flu and against pneumonia were significantly less likely to die of heart failure while in hospital.

Alzheimer’s disease

Once again, these two jabs are punching way above their weight. Other studies have suggested they can cut risk of dementia.

In one study, at least one flu jab was associated with a 17 per cent drop in risk. In another, vaccination against pneumonia between the ages of 65 and 75 reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 40 per cent.

Urinary tract infections

Could it be goodbye to the pesky UTI? Scientists at Duke University, North Carolina hope so, after a vaccine injected directly into the bladders of mice cleared up E. Coli bacteria.

These bacteria, which cause water infections, are often resistant to antibiotics.

Multiple Sclerosis

A study of American servicemen who had been diagnosed with multiple scleroris (MS) found the risk of this disabling neurological condition increased 32-fold in those who’d previously had Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), which causes glandular fever.

This discovery could lead to a focus on finding a vaccine for EBV, which could hopefully prevent MS in the near or distant future.

Read more: How we solved COVID

Read more: All you need to know about drugs to treat Alzheimer's

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