There is one thing all babies have in common,
They are born with weaker immune system than adults.
We know there are some terrible diseases out here in the cold, cold world, and we also
know that if you train the immune system to recognize those threats
they’ll fight them off!
The problem is, vaccinations make parents uncomfortable.
There’s this thing, and you’re stabbing it into my tiny princess or bouncing baby
boy or princess boy or whatever!
In order to train the immune system in the best way possible, parents have to follow
a strict schedule of injections… often returning to the doctor.
All The time.
Look at this schedule!
Different things every month, and ranges and specific vaccines at specific times.This is
so much scheduling.
And different countries have different schedules because they’re exposed to different diseases
at different times.
What if you have another kid in 2 years?
Then you have to balance two of these schedules
plus your regular parenting and non-parenting lives.
What if I told you that researchers had figured out how to do this all of this stuff in one..
Literally one shot.
This is Kevin McHugh I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
He’s worked with a team to engineer a solution.
Micro-fabricated tiny ‘coffee cups’ or cubes
that slowly degrade once inside the body.
You can just go one time, and deliver all your vaccines potentially in that one visit,
then you can have someone fully protected against an array of infectious diseases.
This vaccine has the same contents as a regular vaccine but it contains a special polymer
called (poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) or PLGA.
It’s in a lot of different FDA approved devices so we think it can be translated to the clinic
more readily than perhaps a new material”
The little coffee cups are made using a process similar to the one for computer chips, but
instead of silicon they use PLGA.
The coffee cup analogy works, we actually have a bottom, we have a top, and we fill
the liquid in the middle.
The particles are small enough to flow through a needle
so a doctor just needs to inject it into the muscle.
Over the next few months, water in the body slowly reacts with the copolymer in a process
It breaks down into tiny bits of glycolic acid, cleared by the kidneys, and lactic acid
which breaks down into CO2 and water, it’s natural!
When you feel the burn, that’s lactic acid!
So again, instead of dozens of visits and injections and worry… one injection, and
Science take the wheel!
Kevin’s paper shows that the PLGA breaks down in a predictable way, so they can plan
the vaccinations and boosters depending on what needs to happen.
The particles are too big for the immune system to worry about
but too small to bother the patient.
Even still, we can’t talk vaccinations without worries.
A 2015 report found 93% of physicians were told by some parents ‘No Way.
That’s too many shots at once for my baby.’
Let’s go by our own schedule.
Even though almost 90-percent of doctors felt by deviating from this schedule, they’d
put the kid (or community) at risk… some doctors deviated anyway because parents were
worried or upset.
The CDC mentions some parents (with no evidence or training mind you) felt all these vaccinations
might overwhelm their kid’s immune system… which science says — it will not.
Having one vaccination that does the whole job, could relieve a lot of worried parents,
we don’t have to poke your baby a lot, just one time!
This future tech isn’t just convenient for overbooked middle-class parents either, a
single vaccination is life changing in the developing world.
There’s a lot millions of infants every single year that either don’t get any vaccines or
get one vaccine but don’t get the full complement of injections along the way on a schedule
and so all these infants out there are at risk for you know contracting these different infectious diseases
and … it’s not necessarily, you know, a cost issue, it’s a delivery issue — how do
you get the vaccines to the people.
Having a single, time-release vaccination for children could quite literally change
Helping millions of people with and without healthcare security develop immune-strength,
and live longer, healthier lives.
I hope you liked this video!
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If you think this vaccine is weird, the very first vaccine was way weirder.
It had to do with cows, and kids and weird science.
Check it out here.
Have you found any other cool new technology we should cover?
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Tweet me @TraceDominguez, or tell us in the comments.
And thanks for watching Seeker.