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A Prototype of How to Fight the Next Pandemic: A Vaccine Without the Shot

By September 20, 2018No Comments

When the next dead­ly pan­dem­ic flu hits, the first chal­lenge will be to de­vel­op a vac­cine. But loom­ing behind that ob­sta­cle is another: How to get an in­oc­u­la­tion to millions of people with­out in­ad­vert­ent­ly ex­ac­er­bat­ing the cri­sis.

Af­ter all, droves of people — some who might already be sick­ened — who flock to health centers for a shot could be a po­tent way for the in­fec­tion to spread.

On the 100th anniversary of the in­flu­en­za pan­dem­ic of 1918 that sick­ened a third of the world’s pop­u­la­tion and killed 50 million people, vac­cine re­search­ers are ur­gent­ly search­ing for new ap­proach­es to pre­pare for the next pan­dem­ic — a threat that most pub­lic health of­fi­cials con­sider in­evi­table. A new study pro­vides proof of con­cept for a so­lu­tion that could up­end the tra­di­tion­al cen­tral­ized mod­el, in which health pro­fes­sion­als give in­jec­tions at clin­ics.