Posts Tagged ‘vaccines’

New Hope for Boy Scouts: Poison Ivy Vaccine

September 24, 2021

“Poison Ivy,” written by Lieber & Stoller, interpreted by Manfred Mann, 1966.

Each summer, 10 million to 50 million Americans get painful, itchy contact dermatitis skin rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Things are about to get worse as the climate crisis makes poison ivy more toxic and expands its range. Higher levels of carbon dioxide make the plants produce a more allergenic form of urushiol, the oily sap resin responsible for the rash.

But there’s hope:

“Human research is proceeding with a compound called PDC-APB, which would be injected as a vaccine once every year or two to prevent poison ivy misery. Developed at the University of Mississippi, it is a synthetic version of urushiol’s active component. ‘We believe the shot will lead to desensitization and reduce or eliminate reactions to poison ivy, oak and sumac,’ says Ray Hage, CEO of Hapten Sciences, which has licensed the compound. It works well in guinea pigs …, passed initial safety testing in humans and is about to be evaluated in a small randomized controlled trial. People are beating down the door to try the vaccine, Hage reports: ‘Every March I start to get e-mails from people asking, ‘Where is the drug? Can I be in a trial?’”

— “A Vaccine against Poison Ivy Misery Is in the Works as Scientists Also Explore New Treatment Paths,” Claudia Wallis, Scientific American

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Russia: Vaccine or Vodka, Your Choice

December 15, 2020

Russia: Vaccine or Vodka, Your Choice

Last month, Russia’s Gamaleya Institute announced that its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective, and Russia began mass vaccinations early this month. Many Russians have avoided getting innoculated, however. The rapid rollout of the vaccine leaves many Russians skeptical, but there may be another reason they’re staying away. Russia has one of the highest per capita rates of alcohol consumption in Europe, and Russian officials are saying the vaccinated should lay off the vodka for 42 days. A walk-back to 6 days followed, 3 days after each of the two injections, but that still may be too much for many hard-drinking Russians.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.