Will our medical system help us save lives in the future?

Vaccines do prevent sometimes life-threatening diseases, but recently we have learned that most of them also work as stimulants in helping kids to fight off sickness. This should not surprise anyone who knows children and knows that sometimes they don’t really eat well, do not sleep well, and so on. For example, it’s expected that if a child is seriously ill, they may miss a lot of school. We all know that if something happens to one child in the family, everyone gets sick–without exception. And that sounds much better if we know vaccines actually prevent some bad things.

But in many cases, the opposite is the case. These days, toddlers that use a “aspirin” to fight off sickness often get a serious infection such as strep throat. These medicines often cause their iron levels to drop to dangerously low levels. Since Iron deficiency is associated with many diseases, children whose iron levels are so low may soon be hooked up to IV iron tubes. This is a common story we hear.

The question remains, however, what do these vaccines mean for the kids? Are the vaccines themselves to blame for the poor immune systems they develop?

Actually, to solve this question, scientists have developed a new gene-based technique that essentially could stop the child from being self-medicating in the first place. This new technology is an all-in-one vaccine. It offers a fast, all-in-one option in the form of a single injection! It is completely preventative and does not require any booster shots. It is a way to rebuild children’s immune systems, and in so doing, prevent disease before it begins.

Researchers recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences their findings of a study about the effectiveness of this new type of vaccine. The researchers reported that patients who underwent the one-shot vaccination experienced a nearly full immune recovery in approximately six months. Additionally, the effects of the vaccine were largely uniform among both young children and pregnant women.

The advantage of the vaccine is that it prevents children from self-medicating their immune system with iron. The benefit to the patient is that they are protected against serious and damaging diseases. In fact, the disease avoidance rate is much higher than in other preventative measures such as vaccines.

Researchers say that the benefits of the one-shot vaccination have so far been identified for 9 out of 14 major chronic diseases, including Crohn’s disease, diphtheria, whooping cough, encephalitis, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, syphilis, and congenital rubella syndrome. They also found that the effectiveness of the vaccine does not depend on the age of the child. The one-shot vaccination is particularly beneficial for pregnant women, because it provides a complete complement of a vaccine during the pregnancy.

The main criticism of the one-shot vaccination is that it’s cost-prohibitive. In some situations, many infants are simply too young to get vaccinated. However, many of these vaccines still require a dose every one to two years for children under the age of five. Moreover, parents are willing to spend a lot of money on vaccines as long as they work.

Adults who believe in a very “immune-like” approach to life, such as hawking vitamins or homemade acai berries for their health, may also want to consider the new vaccine as an alternative. The only ways to prevent disease are to get vaccinated and take an active role in promoting proper immunization. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy health and wellbeing. All you need is the raw materials necessary to build an effective immune system: iron, vitamin C, proteins, trace minerals, or other trace minerals–not to mention good diet and plenty of exercise.

It’s time to abandon immunity-like and self-medicating approaches to disease. Vaccines are there to save children’s lives and quality of life from serious illness and to protect against many diseases, many of which could have been avoided by a preventative approach. At the same time, diseases like polio still occur, and most preventable diseases only become more prevalent as a result of neglect or lack of knowledge. When access to vaccines is more easily available, more children die. The benefits of vaccines will continue to grow.

Visit us at www.unjamaica.org to learn more about Jamaica’s Institute of Medical Research.

Dr. Jonathan Green is the president of Jamaica’s Institute of Medical Research. Dr. Green is a surgeon and physician in private practice in Kingston, Jamaica. Follow him on Twitter @DrJonGreen

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