New Vaccine Given to Babies at Birth May Prevent Scary Illnesses

Health Check 14

vaccineDrop the word vaccine in a room full of moms, and you might want to dive for cover. But ladies, I'm going to do it anyway. There's talk of a new "supervaccine" being designed for babies ... and it could be the answer to every new mom's prayers.

It's not a vaccine with a cape (come on, you know you thought it too), but the supervaccine docs at Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital are trying to get off the ground could make them superheroes anyway. Imagine spending the first two months of your baby's life NOT terrified of germs. It almost sounds too good to be true!

But maybe it's not.

Supervaccine researchers have identified a small synthetic molecule called VTX-294 that they say stimulates a "strong immune response in samples of protective white cells taken from the umbilical cord blood of newborns." The hope is they could give this to freshly born newborns to protect them from the types of diseases that kids typically won't get shots for until at least 2 months old.

Key word here is "hope." The supervaccine is not out on the market yet, and who knows if it ever will be.

But that doesn't mean moms can't think about their options should it make it to hospitals. Would you want another needle jabbed in your kiddo's flesh just hours after birth? I remember signing off on the Hep B vaccine for my newborn with mixed emotions -- I wanted her to be protected, but the thought of taking this perfect new baby and already injecting her with chemicals wasn't easy to swallow.

I can't imagine moms will be super excited to have MORE chemicals being shot into baby's bloodstream.

And yet, I remember those days before my daughter started getting her shots on the regular. I'm not a germophobe, but I still grabbed for a blanket to cover my daughter's face when the old man one cash register over at the grocery store started hacking up a lung.

Diseases like whooping cough, pneumonia, and rotavirus don't just make babies sick. They KILL kids! And the number of parents opting out on vaccines entirely have made the world a much more dangerous place for infants.

Going back to birth, if there had been a supervaccine in place to keep my kid safe, I'd have sucked it up and said "yes." How about you?

Would you opt for a supervaccine at birth that could keep your baby safe? Why or why not?

 

Image via Adrian Clark/Flickr

baby first year, vaccines, baby health