Therapeutic vaccines: a solution to the prevention problem?

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Therapeutic vaccines are likely to provide a significant and growing contribution to tackling some of the manifold health problems that face us in the future. However, despite these real benefits, I suggest the need for caution in relation to one possible ethical argument that could be used to support the introduction of therapeutic vaccination over preventive vaccination for contagious diseases where both types of vaccination exist. I argue that therapeutic vaccination will not solve what I call the 'prevention problem': that is, a perceived injustice in the distribution of benefits and harms arising from population-based preventive vaccination policies.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2363-6
Number of pages4
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2005