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Progress towards achieving new vaccine and vaccination goals

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Viral and bacterial vaccines, especially for childhood use, are one of the most successful public health measures of the last two centuries and have a good safety record. However, there are still many diseases that are caused by infectious agents for which vaccines are not available. Our increasing ability to manipulate the immune system offers hope that, in the future, at least some of these infections may be prevented by vaccin­ation. A surprising recent development is the use of vaccine technology to test whether a range of other ­generally non-communicable diseases can be prevented (or at least controlled) in this way. Investigation of these diseases is still mainly at the experimental level, however the list includes different types of cancers, allergies, drug addiction and neurodegenerative diseases. (Intern Med J 2003; 33: 297−304)

Keywords: infections; non-infectious diseases; vaccination; ­vaccines

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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