Professor Mark Kendall, an Australian vaccinator, appeared at the TED fest in Edinburgh a couple of days ago to push his Great New Idea in vaccination. And an inspirational talk it was – in fifteen short minutes, destroying pretty much the whole of the established practice of dispensing large doses of toxic matter directly into the muscular blood stream that makes the trade of vaccination.
I like it when the establishment causes its own destruction. It’s a simple observation that no broad group of trained, experienced experts will carry the same sum total of, well, stuff in their heads – we are all programmed not just by our schools and colleges, which differ anyway, but also by our lives, as lived. Hating the idea of my first born, then eight month old infant being given daily antibiotics for five years, subsequent to a serious UTI a month earlier which then recurred, I talked to several doctors in the hospital. One wanted the child X-rayed, to “check for kidney damage”, another said ultrasound scanning was far safer. The consultant paediatrician was insistent on prolonged antibiotics but an older consultant, who’d worked in Africa, said “They never have UTI in Africa – because they never wear nappies”.
We followed that advice. Cleanliness, minimal nappies, no antibiotics and no further problems.
Mark Kendall is very keen on his new idea. He should be. He’s licensed it to Merck in America for a very large figure and was photoed at the registration of the product in the halcyon chambers of the London Medical Temples. I predict that it will largely be squashed or reserved for third world use rather than revolutionize vaccinology but, hey, that’s just the cynic in me and, well, it’s early days, yet.
As I say, he gave a TED talk on the matter on Thursday and it may be up already. I’ve not yet checked but BBC Radio 4 Today’s Sarah Montague interviewed him for the Friday morning show:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02qt7vf . This’ll only last a few days so hurry up to listen, if you want, but I have compiled a rough transcript, as follows:
Sarah: …an invention that could save millions of lives and huge sums of money. I interviewed the inventor in the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, where in 1853 the first syringe was introduced to the World and patented. [Vaccination has always been a source of patenting, you see!]
Mark: Yeah and not much has changed in vaccine delivery since that time. The World’s moved on but this is unchanged. Now, there’s a lot of downsides associated with that and with those in mind, I’ve invented an alternative which has the potential to revolutionise the way vaccines are administered.
Sarah: Now we’ve got one here. Describe it to me.
Mark: OK, what we have here is a nanopatch and if you visualise a postage stamp, it’s a little bit smaller. Now, under a microscope you see thousands of tiny projections, normally invisible to the human eye, that we dry coat vaccines to, then apply to the skin with a spring loaded applicator or, even, just by hand.
It breaches the tough outer skin and delivers to the “vaccine sweet spot” which is the outer layer of skin where it is abundant with immune cells, less than a hair’s breadth under the skin’s surface. The needle delivers the vaccine to muscle which does not have many immune cells.
Sarah: So it’s more effective to put it onto the skin like this rather than use a needle and get it into the muscle?
Mark: Yes, that is true. What we have shown is that we have vastly improved immune responses compared with needle and that’s really important when we think about where the vaccine field is right now. Every field of technology has it’s barriers – and vaccinology is a technology, although we might not think of it as such. Our barriers are crossed like this:
- New vaccines are harder to make and so much more expensive thus hard to roll out to poorer countries.
- Using our system, we only need one hundredth of the dose to get the same level of protection. [I really wanted to edit that to simply “response” but, hey, I’ll be true to his spoken words.]
- Unlike conventional liquid vaccines, ours does not require to be refrigerated.
Sarah: But you’ve not yet tested it on humans, I understand.
Mark: No, but we’ve given the flu, HPV etc to animals to provide us with our current knowledge.
At which point the chat ended, leaving a lot of crucial ideas up in the air as this work could indeed be gamechanging. It’s had to know quite where to start:
- It would remove the need for trained medical practitioners’ involvement in vaccine delivery – yes, it would take doctors out of the loop, as anyone can stick a postage stamp to their arm.
- At just one percent of the dose that’s a whole lot less toxin added to the body.
- Being a close-to-natural delivery mechanism it stimulates the natural responses which will be far more appropriate than those instigated by intramuscular or intravenous dosage. Furthermore there would be far lower chance of collateral interactions being set off.
- The clear corollary is that one hundred times the required dose has been being delivered to each and every vaccine recipient, even at today’s relatively low dosage rates. In a course of jabs that mounts up phenomenally. Is it any wonder, thus, that the countless cases of vaccine damage have arisen?
- Finally, though, it once again underlines how natural encounter with microbiota is the only way to develop ones inherent immune capabilities. If one can meet such through minor skin abrasions this is obviously an ongoing process – from playing in mud as a wee kid, playing sports, gardening, rock-climbing, just making one’s way through one’s every day – always responding in the same way, clearing up and remembering.
- So really the success of these immunostamps probably still shows we don’t need them at all!
There. That’ll do for now but thank you Mark, yours is a useful contribution to rescuing humanity from the vaccinators – even if that wasn’t quite your intention!