When you think about eating a healthy treat, you probably think of a delicious bran muffin, or maybe some carrot sticks. But soon, that healthy snack might be a vaccine! Yep, researchers are working on a way for people to eat their vaccines rather than have them jabbed into their arms.
Not only is that great news for people with a fear of needles, but edible vaccines are apparently also cheaper and easier to produce.
The way that vaccines are developed is constantly changing. Often vaccines include an inactive piece of the virus they are meant to protect against. The body then recognises the virus and produces antibodies against it. Antibodies are the little fighter cells that protect you from disease.
Right now, vaccines are typically produced in chicken eggs. That’s because viruses need cells to multiply. All living things are made up of cells. Inside the chicken egg, the virus grows. Researchers then extract the virus, deactivate it, and put it in a needle that you then get in your arm when you go to the doctor.
Lots of vaccines, including the new Covid-19 vaccines that are being produced, need to be kept very, very cold. This can be a big problem in a country as big as Australia!
If they are successful, in the future you might be able to eat your vaccine!