For those of you who are allergic to grass pollen, spring is all fun and games until you start sneezing nonstop every time you go outside. You probably don’t even entertain the thought of enjoying a nice, calm picnic on the grass because all it would get you is itchy eyes and a runny nose, right? Luckily, researchers are working on a solution to help you beat your seasonal allergy blues—and if additional studies yield expected results, it could be on the market relatively soon.
Considering 400 million people around the globe deal with some sort of grass-pollen allergy, it’s about time for a team of researchers to create the world’s first vaccine to combat it, right? Austrian researchers at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research did just that by collaborating with the pharmaceutical company Biomay AG in a study. They gave 180 participants four injections of a vaccine—called BM32—in the first year, then administered it again in the second year, which helped participants’ symptoms decrease by 25 percent on average.
“The more severely the allergy sufferer is affected by grass pollen, the greater the beneficial effect following vaccination.” —Dr. Verena Niederberger-Leppin, lead study author
Further detailing the results, Dr. Verena Niederberger-Leppin, lead study author, said in the press release, “The more severely the allergy sufferer is affected by grass pollen, the greater the beneficial effect following vaccination.”
Right now, researchers have only seen the results of a two-year period, but they hypothesize that the symptoms can diminish even more over time by continuing top ups of the vaccination and that the vaccine could potentially be used preventively. In addition, they believe they have the tools to treat allergies from dust mites, cats, and ragweed pollen, too.
The plan is to get approvals for the vaccine by 2021, so hopefully a few years from now, your pesky seasonal allergies will be a thing of the past.
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