Over the course of the past month, we have not only covered various sporadic cases and outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, but have also tried to shine light onto other developments within the field. A seemingly simple question, however, has been on my mind as I continue to go through these stories; is there a vaccine that could prevent individuals from being at risk to Legionnaires’ disease? And if there is not a vaccine, then why not?
Well the first question is relatively simple to answer; no, there are currently no vaccines for Legionnaires’ disease. There have certainly been attempts to create a vaccine for Legionnaires’ disease and Legionella bacteria more generally, including most famously in the eighties with a research study which apparently revolved around guinea pigs.
The results of this study found that several forms of vaccination could actually create “moderately high levels of protection”. Yet there appears to be some weaknesses with the vaccine tested as well, including with aerosolized exposure to Legionella bacteria.
It is not the place of this page to try and make a conclusive answer regarding the second question; indeed the previous study which we discuss in detail in this post was done over 30 years ago so it is curious to not see much more attempts regarding the vaccination of Legionnaires’ disease. With that in mind, it perhaps just goes to show how truly important every form of prevention planning can be; for without a working vaccine in wide circulation, effective prevention planning is one of the only methods individuals have for avoiding sporadic and/or outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates.