Throughout history, vaccines have been a hot topic, especially lately. While vaccination is an efficient way to prevent infectious diseases, the rise of oral vaccines proves to be an even more efficient and cost-effective way to prevent infectious diseases.
Oral vaccinations, until now, have focused on preventing diseases that enter the body through mucosal surfaces such as the nostrils, lips, mouth, eyelids, and other areas with a mucous membrane. This means that most oral vaccinations are used to prevent intestinal, respiratory, and genital tract infections.
Research is being done to see if oral vaccines would be as effective with diseases that are not spread through mucosal surfaces. Until then, vaccines, such as the polio vaccine can be taken orally. The poliovirus typically multiples in the intestines, so an oral vaccine is appropriate for this infectious disease.
A benefit of oral vaccines is that they remove the need for a needle. Needle disposal and proper use has been a great concern for many administering vaccinations. By removing the need for a needle, vaccinations become safer and easier. Taking the vaccine by mouth means that many people can administer it, rather than just a doctor. Oral vaccines make vaccinations more accessible to patients.
If you are interested in oral vaccines, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more.