For at least 20 years, scientists have been experimenting with such self-spreading vaccines, work that continues to this day, and which has gained the attention of the US military.
For obvious reasons, public and scientific interest in vaccines is incredibly high, including in self-spreading vaccines, as they could be effective against zoonotic threats. The biologists Scott Nuismer and James Bull generated fresh media attention to self-spreading vaccines over the summer after publishing an article in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. But the subsequent reporting on the topic gives short shrift to the potentially significant downsides to releasing self-spreading vaccines into the environment.
Self-spreading vaccines could indeed entail serious risks, and the prospect of using them raises challenging questions
This article is dated exactly one year ago…