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You can't go far before finding someone who will argue that vaccines are the greatest health intervention – early Bills of Mortality confirmed shocking rates of early childhood death due to measles. Only safe water supplies are on a par, for early childhood deaths. While rotavirus vaccine has a role, cholera disappears in settings with safe water supplies and adequate sewage, with only occasional imported cases. The early public health gains of vaccination were reduction in childhood and early adult death and morbidity. Today vaccines for flu, pneumococcal disease and shingles also bring benefits in later life. Yet we still only have two STI vaccines – HPV and hepatitis B, and the driver for hepatitis B vaccine was vertical rather than sexual transmission.
STIs are notoriously challenging for vaccine development and it was once thought unlikely they could be developed due to the adaptation of pathogen to …
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