Vaccines: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Take So Long To Develop

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jacob Appel is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Education, and Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A bioethicist, physician, lawyer, author and social critic, he is best known for his short stories, his work as a playwright, and his writing in the fields of reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics and euthanasia. Appel’s novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. He has taught medical ethics at New York University, Columbia University, and Brown University’s Alpert Medical School.


Why Do Vaccines Take So Long To Develop

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease, often made from weakened forms of microbes. It stimulates the body’s immune system to recognize a particular disease as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of it’s microorganisms that it may encounter in the future. The administration of vaccines is called vaccination. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, and widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus from much of the world. Unfortunately for all of us in 2020 and fearful of the current pandemic, it takes a long time to develop vaccines. The time period “18 months at best” is often cited, and in this presentation we’ll discuss why that is.

Learn more about vaccines by checking out other great videos at OneDayU, including ‘The Flu Epidemic Of 1918, ‘From Page To Stage& ‘Hamilton: Fact or Fiction’ all on-demand now.



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Gladwyn Leiman

Fabulous lecture but outdated by 3 years

Kudos to the speaker, really good stuff. But you can’t sell a lecture like this three years later when so many of the issues have been answered. An updated lecture by the same person is really mandatory after this snafu.

11 months ago
Robert England

Vaccines, what they are...........

I too would like to hear what Dr. J. Appel has to say today regarding somE of the bioethical questions he addressed in his original lecture.
By the way, I did enjoy his opening joke.

11 months ago
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