Vaccine Blocks Herpes in Some Women

“The results are not exactly what we expected,” said Gary Dubin, who heads adolescent vaccine development for SmithKline Beecham in Belgium. He said the company is getting reaction from regulators and public health officials before deciding what to do next.

However, Spruance said the vaccine could be targeted at girls ages 10 to 13. At this age, he said, about half have not been infected with either form of the herpes virus and so could benefit from the vaccine.

Despite its drawbacks, the vaccine “really looks very effective. It seems potentially useful,” commented Dr. William Craig of the University of Wisconsin, head of the conference program committee.

The vaccine is made from a protein taken from the outer surface of the herpes virus. It is combined with a bacterial toxin that acts as an immune system booster.

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