There is now, in development, a DNA vaccine for plague.
Yep. Plague. You know, that thing that hammered the crap out of the human race up to the 1600s and is still around – although these days it comes up occasionally and really doesn’t get too far. It’s a bacterial infection and we now have antibiotics that can stop it.
There were two cases recently in China. Some folk ate an animal known to be a high risk of being a plague carrier. Even the Chinese avoid that one but I guess even the Chinese have a few idiots.
It shows up in warm places to this day, even in southern US states a few cases arise. Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, seems particularly prone to it.
Sure, some of the more remote places where it shows up can be hard to supply with antibiotics, and a vaccine might be a good thing there, but an experimental, monkey-virus vector carrying DNA to make your own cells look like plague bacteria? That doesn’t sound like such a good idea, especially since your covid vaccine already makes a lot of your cells look like they are infected with a virus. Your immune system is going to be busy, killing all your own body’s cells because it thinks you are infected.
Plague can be treated with antibiotics. A plague vaccine could be based on killed bacteria. It has never been developed because, frankly, there’s no money in it. Plague’s current range and frequency simply don’t justify that sort of investment, especially when there are already treatments for it.
Yet now, we see a company investing a hell of a lot in the development of a vaccine we don’t actually need, and which won’t make any money because it’s most useful in places that don’t have much money. Why is that?
And why does it need to make your own cells express plague bacteria proteins? The traditional route, killed bacteria, is likely to be much more successful, cheaper to produce and far easier to transport to remote areas. Unlike viruses, it is very easy to make sure a bacterial vaccine contains no live ones. Why go the expensive, complicated, experimental route?
Especially when the investment is unlikely to ever pay for itself.
Or is it? Oh, you don’t need to unleash plague on the world again. You just need to make enough people scared of it. As my fictional world did with scrofula, back in 2017.
Expect to hear more plague cases popping up. Expect to hear about ‘variants’ and ‘antibiotic resistant’ strains. Expect to hear about it hitting big cities.
Expect to have plague vaccine added to your vaccine passport, right behind covid and flu. Expect to see many more vaccinations added, plus regular boosters. Expect to never hear of anyone who has caught plague, but to hear of many who have suffered after vaccination.
There is only one way to profit from a vaccine hardly anyone has any need of.
Make them scared. It’s worked well so far.