The Social and Political Strife of a Chlamydia Vaccine


Jared Ditkowsky, MD candidate, SUNY Downstate explained that many of the problems surrounding a potential chlamydia vaccine are immunologic in nature.

Jared Ditkowsky, MD candidate, continued his discussion at AAAAI 2017 saying that one of the other things that makes vaccination for chlamydia tricky is that you're vaccinating against a sexually transmitted disease, and there's a lot of social and political strife that comes with that. According to Ditkowsky, they've seen that with the HPV vaccine. There's a lot of push-back against it for a number of reasons, so coverage for the vaccination hasn't been achieved at levels people would want to see it at. " A chlamydia vaccine would likely follow the same path, because it is targeting a sexually transmitted disease. So, Ditkowsky says, "I would say yes, if you could successfully roll out a chlamydia vaccination program or learn from however it is rolled out, it could serve as a model for maybe future vaccinations that follow this political road, then I think there would be lessons to learn."

Ditkowsky explained that he and his team brought their study to AAAAI 2017 to remind the community that a lot of the problems in creating a chlamydia vaccination are immunologic in nature. Getting the specific immune response you need to protect not only against reproductive tract infection, but also ocular infection and lung infection while not generating a negative immune response is very difficult. "If I had one more thing to say, I'd say, to bring to the attention of the immunologic community, that this is a problem that needs to be worked on," Ditkowsky concluded.

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