The Instigator
emilyt
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
harryjones1
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

edible vaccines

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 430 times Debate No: 48861
Debate Rounds (4)
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emilyt

Pro

The majority of people living in third world countries aren"t wealthy enough to afford vaccines for themselves or their families. This can cause millions to lose their lives to diseases that can be prevented. Scientists have found a way to solve this problem. Geneticists have found a way to genetically modify different plants such as bananas, potatoes, or even algae to carry vaccines for a multitude of diseases. This new and innovative way to deliver vaccines could help prevent a lot of people from getting sick. This could help so many people that it is surprising that some people are opposed. Shouldn't our priority be to help others? According to the opponents, they believe that there are just too many problems with this idea and that the end does not justify the means. There are some issues, but they can all be easily remedied. Dosage is one of the main ones. People think it would be incredibly hard to control, but if you think about it, its not. If every banana was a quarter of a dose or half of a dose it would be easy to control how much you took. There are some cons but the pros far outweigh them. People just need to ask themselves- isn't every human life worth the effort?
harryjones1

Con

Would you want to provide a vaccine that can have the power to mistakenly attack unaffected tissue? That is a strong possibility and would be worse for the human body than better. This is why I suggest to keep vaccines the way they are through needles. My mentality is "If it aint broke don't fix it" this applies here because rarely do you hear about a needle stick infection and if you provide too little or too much of a dose in a banana then you could end up very sick. This is important because it takes lots of money out of our pockets to fund this sort of research and experiments. If this was ever to take place it is years away and is unrealistic to think of when there are worse matters on our hand. I see how people could argue that it is easier and quicker to produce than other sources of vaccines but I believe that Edible Vaccines are an unacceptable risk that the world cannot afford to take with other more important tasks.
Debate Round No. 1
emilyt

Pro

Edible vaccines would solve many issues that make regular vaccines so expensive. They also would make the process of vaccination easier. Edible vaccines can be grown locally and cheaply. Having the vaccines grown locally would eliminate some of the shipping issues and costs. Regular vaccines have to be mass produced by scientists who could then focus their efforts on finding cures for other diseases. Also most vaccinations have to kept cold enroute to their destination which costs a lot and is a big energy waster. It also makes mass shipping very difficult because different vaccinations have to be kept at different temperatures. Once the vaccines arrive at their destination they usually come with some of the following issues: insufficient ice-packs, a short expiration date, lack of adequate labeling, and the the largest problem the high cost of getting it there. In addition, once the vaccines arrive at their destination some families still may have to travel a long way to get to a health care provider thus adding challenges. According to healthcare websites the price for one chicken pox vaccine is around ninety dollars which in the majority of third world countries is too much for one person to afford let alone all of their families. Since edible vaccines could be grown on a farm just like regular food and be grown rather quickly they would cost a lot less which would be better for everyone.
harryjones1

Con

What happens after you inject the potato? Do you want to eat a raw potato? You have to cook it and then the vaccine wears out? Has a food been genetically modified with a vaccine yet? What happens if you apply the wrong dosage in a banana?

A risk of edible vaccines is that a wrong amount of medication is applied and then leading to an overdose or underdose. If this were to happen edible vaccinations would likely be sued. Why have a vaccine that causes a chance for disease when you can't tell how much is in a banana? With a needle you can find out how much is in it by looking at the measurements. With an underdose the person could become at risk for many diseases such as bipolar disorder which can also lead to death. You cannot locally have a genetically modified plant without the help of a scientist to "touch up" the seeds. Which would cost money especially for help in poverty ridden countries.
Debate Round No. 2
emilyt

Pro

hat happens after you inject the potato? You don't inject the potato. the scientists genetically modify the genes in a potato so it grows the vaccine inside of it.
Do you want to eat a raw potato? No, but a potato doesn't necessarily have to be what is carrying the vaccine bananas are another and much more popular alternative.
You have to cook it and then the vaccine wears out? Again if a potato was the food with the vaccine then this could be an issue but there are many other options out there which don't have to be cooked.
Has a food been genetically modified with a vaccine yet? Yes there has been some plants that scientists have genetically modified to carry vaccines. for example there have been some tobacco plants which act as a vaccine for hepatitis B, though it has not been released to the public yet.
What happens if you apply the wrong dosage in a banana? On the other side of this anyone could ask how do you know if you put the correct dosage in a regular vaccine? The answers are the same. There are safe checks to make sure you dosn't. The dosage can be measured per cup, one cup is equivalent to one dose this system makes it very easy to tell how much you are taking.

With regards to your point the scientists would not have to touch up the roots at all, all they would need to do is collect the seeds from the first generation of the modified plants and then give the seeds to farmers which would not cost a lot at all. Aside from the benefits of lower cost and easier access edible vaccine help address needle issues. Many of the needles and syringes can become contaminated with other diseases and they can contaminate other objects or people if they not kept in the proper conditions. This can cause more problems. Bacteria or viruses can reside on needles if they are improperly cared for. Also correct needle handling can be very hard due to poor conditions in some third world countries. Innovation is an important thing to help the world keep moving forward and this is what edible vaccines are doing. They help to move the world forwards by helping thousands of people. The human race could have stayed the same as it was doing just fine, but we still invented the computer and the cell phone these were just ways to make our lives a little easier. Just like the edible vaccine will make lives easier and better for thousands.

My Questions: Where did you find that under doses of vaccines cause bipolar disorder? Are you sure it "ain't broke"
"because my research shows that thousands of people in third world countries are dying because of disease that can be prevented. You say edible vaccines are an unacceptable risk but isn't it worth it if it saves lives?
harryjones1

Con

Where did you find that under doses of vaccines cause bipolar disorder?: I'm saying that if edible vaccines were to be used for medication in bipolar disorder than an under dose would be very dangerous.
You say edible vaccines are an unacceptable risk but isn't it worth it if it saves lives? I say its an unacceptable risk because instead of spending money to build these edible vaccines we could use the money to transport needle vaccines across the world.

The second argument of mine is that edible vaccines would be a waste of time to evolve when we have much more other medical advances in our path. We also could use this money to transport the vaccines or work on advancing new stages into cancer treatment development. These two things are tied together as they both indicate that once we have extra time and money then we could possibly evolve into edible vaccines but that is clearly far away. I know it takes time because of the PDF by Charles Amtzen being written 14 years ago and indicating that the future of edible vaccines is near but 14 years later there has been little advancements. We could also use money to find out all the different causes of cancers and diseases.
Debate Round No. 3
emilyt

Pro

Edible vaccines are clearly a very cost efficient and simple tool that could be used to save millions of lives. Opponents say that this is such a huge risk but is it really? A group of scientists have fed rats tobacco with a hep B vaccine, and when they were exposed to the disease none of them contracted it. The rats proceeded to live a healthy life. This shows that edible vaccines are safe to use and would be incredibly helpful in third world countries where every year 6.2 million die of preventable diseases like malaria and tetanus. The dosage issue is another argument that has come up but according to the Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology an easy solution to this would be to either have one dose per cup of banana or by drying out the fruit then grinding it up and taking it as a powder. As you can see all of the issues with edible vaccines are not really issues, they are just people who are scared of change no matter how many people they help.
harryjones1

Con

My rebuttal of your points is that you believe we could use potatoes, bananas, or algae to use as a base for vaccines. First of all potatoes would not be viable because once cooked the vaccines would wear out. Bananas might work but we would have to make sure we had the correct dosage in them before injected or else that could cause under doses or overdoses both extremely dangerous. I don't see anyone eating algae so I don't know why that would be an option. So that leaves only bananas which if not eaten while ripe could lead to food poisoning. The cost of edible vaccines is also a factor for we would have to transport the seeds over to third world countries and that would be very cost effective. A solution would be to send normal vaccines over which would be quicker and would not have to develop.
Overall I do not see how we could be able to have edible vaccines in the near future due to the cost and limitations.
Debate Round No. 4
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