By Amy Hunt
From the editors of Woman & Home
Scientists from the Medical University of Vienna have been trialling a brand new hay fever vaccine, which could see sufferers’ symptoms reduce by as much as 60%.
The trial – which saw the drug tested on 180 people – has seen noticeable improvements in the symptoms of those taking part.
Results found that the symptoms – including a runny nose, coughing and breathing problems – decreased by at least 25%. And researchers state that in unpublished studies, symptoms in some patients were even reduced by up to 60%.
The vaccine is generally for grass pollen. But it’s reported that scientists undergoing the trial are confident that they could come up with vaccines for other allergies, including dust-mite and cat allergies.
Researchers in the trial predicted that the vaccine could be available as early as 2021 – just three years away.
Scientists also claim that the trial has proven so promising that annual innoculations could leave sufferers symptom-free. However, they stated that they would have to undergo a longer period of treatment for this to happen.
They also suggested that a cure for the condition could be on the horizon. Researchers revealed that a preventative vaccine is in the works, to stop people from ever getting hay fever.
Dr Rudolf Valenta, who led the development of the vaccine, said: ‘In the last study, still unpublished, we reach up to 60% for certain patients after one year treatment.
‘It is likely that we can make them symptom-free after longer treatment. The planned schedule is five pre-seasonal injections before the pollen season of the first year and one daily refreshment every year.’
On the vaccination becoming a cure, he said: ‘I dare to say that. More important, our next step will be preventive vaccination.’
It’s thought that around 18 million people in the UK alone suffer from hay fever. Many experience their most severe symptoms between March and September.
These can include sneezing, coughing, red, watery eyes, a headache, an itchy throat and a feeling of tiredness.
Currently there is no cure, but anti-histamine drops, tablets and nasal sprays can help. Plus, preventative measures including showering after coming in from outside and buying a pollen filter can also help to reduce the severity of symptoms.