Vaccination represents, together with the supply of fresh water, the most efficient tool to prevent infectious diseases in human. Vaccines` power is undeniable, ever since the worldwide eradication of smallpox in the 1970s. Besides their high efficacy, the conventional dead or live-attenuated vaccines suffer substantial drawbacks, especially regarding their safety. David Wetzel at ARTES Biotechnology GmbH and Jo-Anne Chan at Burnet Institute, Melbourne explain why the risk of incomplete inactivation or reversion to virulence cause tragic adverse effects in individual cases.
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