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Vaccines Against Painkiller Drugs Coming Soon

vaccine researchStory Highlights
  • Opioid addictions have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., with painkiller-related deaths reaching over 20,000 people in 2015 alone.
  • Scientists from Scripps Research Institute are conducting preclinical trials to study the use of vaccines to block the effects of various opioid drugs.
  • There are questions about the research, including how to manage surgical pain in vaccinated patients, and whether the vaccines will prompt addicts to take massive doses seeking a drug effect.

Highly addictive opioid drugs, including morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, among others, are not only the most common agents used for pain management throughout the world but also are an increasingly common culprit in today’s epidemic of addiction. It is not only recreational thrill seekers who get into trouble with the opioids. Many addiction problems begin after a painkiller is first prescribed for a legitimate reason such as post-surgical pain.

Premature death from painkiller addiction has reached epic proportions in the United States, with 20,101 overdose deaths from prescription painkillers and 12,990 from heroin in 2015 alone, out of a total of 55,403 fatal drug overdoses.1 Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 
 and has prompted much research into ways to deal with the problem. As reported in The Economist, a group out of the Scripps Research Institute now reports that it has developed an “anti-opioid vaccine.”2 

“Chemical Tweaking” Needed to Activate Vaccine

The researchers, led by Kim Janda, PhD, note that opioids do not provoke the immune system in and of themselves, so for the new vaccine to activate antibody production, it must be “chemically tweaked and attached to an appropriate carrier protein.” Dr. Janda believes that difficulties in producing an active vaccine in the past have been because the “haptens,” as the manipulated opioids used in the vaccine are called, are not structurally close enough to the actual drug to provoke a very strong immune system reaction. In the new research, the hapten structure has been made to closely replicate that of the opioids.

This study looked at laboratory mice treated either with an active vaccine or a placebo control, in this case an inert saline solution, then dosed with either hydrocodone or oxycodone. Based on pain reactions of the studied animals, the researchers determined that the vaccinated mice the vaccine was effectively blocking the drug effect. The new vaccine appeared to remain effective for months, and the scientists hope it will prove to last long enough to break an addiction but not so long as to render pain medicine useless in the vaccinated person.

Another finding was that the vaccinated animals appeared to have a reduced risk of death from overdosing. Only 25 percent of deliberately overdosed control mice survived for a day, while 62.5 percent of the vaccinated animals survived that critical 24-hour period. The numbers were lower for both groups treated with oxycodone, but the vaccinated animals still had a better survival rate at 37.5 percent versus 14.2 percent of control animals.

Same Scientist Also Experimenting With Fentanyl Vaccine

In an earlier study, Dr. Janda and his team reported a similar preclinical outcome with an experimental vaccine against fentanyl, a synthetic opioid often used by drug dealers to cut or replace heroin. Said to be 50 to 500 times more potent than morphine, users have no way of gauging the potency of any given dose, which has led to a rash of overdose deaths. The scientists have proposed creating a combination vaccine against fentanyl and heroin, since the two are often seen together.

Like the hydrocodone/oxycodone study, the vaccinated laboratory animals in the fentanyl study did not appear to be affected by the opioid and tolerated 30 times the usual dosage without dying from the overdose. The researchers hope that will help buy time for life-saving treatment (such as with naloxone) if the effect crosses over to human subjects.3 4 They say the fentanyl vaccine acts against any fentanyl derivative, but does not react with other opioid classes such as oxycodone. There is no mention of cross reactivity, or lack thereof, in the newer study against those other opioids. The researchers have noted that, once bound to the antibody, the neutralized drug remains in the body for a long time.5 

Many Questions Need to Be Answered

These experimental vaccines are still in early stages of development, but they open up many questions. For example, what happens if a vaccinated individual needs emergency surgery soon after being vaccinated? If the vaccine neutralizes any painkiller, there will be no recourse to treat pain. If, on the other hand, there is no cross-reactivity, it would allow for medical intervention for serious pain, but it also leaves the door open for addicts to move from one opioid to another to bypass the vaccine’s effect.

What will happen if an addicted person overdoses just trying to overcome the effective blockade? How does a manipulated opioid interact with mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine?


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23 Responses to Vaccines Against Painkiller Drugs Coming Soon

  1. Chris Reply

    January 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Is it possible the vaccines have altered people’s IQ i.e. dumbed them down so much that they actually believe this? This is so ridiculous it’s kind of funny. It’s so ridiculous, I think of the movie “Wall E” where all the brainwashed, glutenous people are moving about in their chairs that are on conveyor belts. From the chairs, they watch tv, eat and drink junk and become non-thinking ignoramuses. That would be like many Americans, right? They’ve come to accept these horrible ways of life and consequently their horrible physical conditions as the norm, without question. How many more deaths, chronic diseases (now starting in childhood), maiming, allergies, behavioral problems et al do we need for there to be a wake-up call? Scary thing is, our children probably think this is all normal. For those of us 40+ years old, we know people were never as sick as we are now. And if we are lucky enough to have critical thinkers coming out of government schools, then maybe those critical thinkers will learn one day that what is now occurring is not normal, not due to genes, and not due to God, but all due to corporate and government GREED.

  2. Judith Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    It’s just beyond mind-boggling! Greed really knows no bounds!

  3. Linda Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Are we talking about an antidote? Asinine.

  4. SDSerf Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Cold Turkey Stop the Vaccines. Stop the manufacture of more useless vaccines and incinerate all existing doses in storage.

    Lets look at a child. The school decides that the child needs Ritalin (for what ever behavioral reason). The parent trusts the school and the team of experts required to make this prescription. The child takes the Ritalin; however, there is a possibility that the child will graduate into stronger illegal narcotics later on – when the sensation of the Ritalin diminishes. The child becomes a young adult or adult drug addict. What a relief that they are making a vaccine that will nullify the effects of a couple of the possible illegal drugs or prescribed pain killers that the addict can use – not.

    What a wonderful system. It is possible that childhood vaccines caused the issues which led to the child being prescribed Ritalin. It is a life lost which never had much chance of success. How many more are we willing to lose? SDSerf

  5. ma bear Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 7:39 am

    This is just STUPID!

  6. Janet newham Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 3:31 am

    I’m speechless! Will people really be so guillable?
    It’s all about $$$$££££

  7. Num Guy Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    This insanity will only stop when we are able to sue the vaccine makers for unsafe and poorly tested products. They dont care because they have been protected since 1986 by our corrupt congress. If you want to change this, the only way is to repeal this 1986 law.

    Please sign this petition on

    petitions.moveon.org/sign/repeal-immunity-for-drug

    and get your rights back.

    Share with every one you know. We must mobilize in large numbers to succeed!!

  8. Bill Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Amazing. Simply amazing. *WHAT* will they think of *NEXT*? Already, TV ads are running for some PhRMA chemical to treat “opioid-induced constipation”. God, I wish I was making this stuff up! There are real people, with real deep pockets, who actually believe that the article above tells of real scientific progress! (Note how rarely, if ever, does any serious money go towards keeping folks off drugs? Or to learn *WHY* so many foolish people exist?)…. I’m wondering why they call this a “vaccine” against opioids? Don’t they realize that will dilute the “brand identity” of actual vaccines? And, exactly *how* does a “vaccine – enhanced” immune system help in heroin addiction? Isn’t this just a different flavor of Narcan, or naloxone????….

  9. Marene Mayer Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t agree with all “above”………when will the insanity Stop with the Vaccines?? This is too scary on so many levels.

  10. Dorothy McFarlin Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    We will become the land of the walking dead, controlled by the vaccine. Vaccines are mind and body control.

    • Karen Reply

      January 5, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Oh, yes, you can be sure of that!

  11. Luci Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    This is something I know quite a lot about. There is already medication available to block opioid receptors (and it, incidentally, is effective as a pain medication). It is one important measure in helping a person who wants to recover from addiction to recover. It is completely insufficient by itself, even if a person wants to recover. Addiction alters the brain in a powerful way which requires a multi-faceted approach for success at recovery. Addiction is NOT a choice, but it does develop with the assistance of character flaws. Addiction is very exhausting for the addict. A vaccine is just another “a pill for every problem” that 1) allows some to feel that the problem is taken care of and 2) allows some to make lots of money. A person will never be free of addiction without the opportunity to recover physically, mentally, and spiritually, and anyone who represents any medical treatment as a cure for addiction is not to be trusted.

  12. Jo Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I’m not sure how long it will take for the majority of people to realize that the ‘unintended’ consequences of vaccines is death —whether sudden or after extended (finance-draining) illness, as well as changing the actual physiological make-up of humans.

    I’m sure holistic/homeopathic ways of curing addictions exist, but they aren’t part of the agenda because they work, they don’t make pharma money and the certainly don’t change the physiology of humans since they are part of nature.

    As with all totalitarian regimes, the world-wide military-industrial-pharmaceutical complex is overreaching now. It can now almost taste the total control within its grasp and is pushing the agenda very hard. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is only a United Snakes problem. The agenda is a world agenda.
    Also, of interest should be the book titled, “The Sanctity of Human Blood”.

  13. Alli Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I can’t believe this is a thing and folks are so deluded as to think this will solve the addiction problem. More drugs to cure drug addiction? I don’t care if it’s called a vaccine, that doesn’t absolve it of fallibility or render it incapable of harm, it only gives the “cure” a free pass from any legal culpability. I feel like I’m living in a world of crazy people who actual swallow (often literally!) the nonsense biotech is so proudly presenting to the world. Don’t even get me started on all those billions and billions of animals who have to suffer and die so pharma can force dangerous and useless and disease-creating poison down our throats…

  14. Gems Gram Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I’m looking forward to the vaccine that stops addiction to vaccines!

    • owldog Reply

      January 4, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      good pun. but seriously, folks, the only imunization I know of, is political revolution.

  15. Num Guy Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Every pill, every drug will be converted to a vaccine!! You know why?? Because we can sue the drug manufacturer if something goes wrong with a drug BUT we cannot sue a vaccine maker even if a child dies!!!! Incredible but true!!!!!

    This is because vaccine makers have been protected since 1986 by our corrupt congress. If you want to change this, the only way is to repeal this 1986 law.

    Please sign this petition on

    petitions.moveon.org/sign/repeal-immunity-for-drug

    and get your rights back

    and share with every one you know.

    • Jo Reply

      January 4, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Getting our ‘rights’ back–if that is what we are forced to call them, will take more than signing a petition and asking ‘please’. Going to the abusers to ask them ‘please’ to stop the abuse is akin to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  16. Sandra Lee Smith Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    And what happens if that person should NEED pain management during the period of the vaccine’s effectiveness, for a serious injury? How STUPID are these people???? Addictive personality isn’t a choice, but addiction itself IS! Once you know you addict, and you DO KNOW it, it’s YOUR choice to take and keep taking an addictive substance! You can’t cure people of that desire with a vaccine!

    • Linda N Reply

      January 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      The drug companies could care less what happens if that person should NEED pain management during the period of the vaccine’s effectiveness, for a serious injury.

      They are far from stupid! Since Vaccines are now suit-free they have a free ride to be as evil as they want with no repercussions.

    • Sean Reply

      January 5, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Sandra, have you heard of Al-Anon? It could help you understand addicts/alcoholics/addiction better. Yes, people know when they have become addicted, but at that stage of using or drinking, it is beyond a simple ‘choice’ to stop. There is so much more involved.

  17. Tim Lundeen Reply

    January 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    It is hard to believe that these vaccines will not have major unwanted consequences (aka “side effects”).

    • Mary Reply

      January 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Another way for BIG Pharma to make money…might save a few lives and damage many more like most vaccines! Scary.

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