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Legacy illness – what if a type 1 vaccine is successful

With news that a vaccine for type 1 diabetes is getting through its development stage, it has me wondering what life would be like if the vaccination turns out to be a success. It would be quite odd to live with a condition that, in a way, is essentially cured.

How successful could a diabetes vaccine be?

I won’t want to run away too far at this stage and offer too much hope for those who have yet to even contract the illness –albeit it is probably parents with type 1 who will welcome the news most at this stage. I do wonder what the success is likely to be. Could it cure some but not be enough for others? Will it take a number of years to get the timings right? What would happen to the rest of us? Then there’s the question of what would happen to those of us who already have type 1? Will research still look to help those of us left? What would the care be like for us? Would we get a sympathetic approach to our care as those who are left uncured? Or would we need to fight to be recognised as still having a lifelong, difficult to manage condition that needs rigid support from our healthcare team? On the positive side, if the vaccine worked, does that mean type 1s could have an islet cells transplant and no longer need anti-immunity drugs to keep the cells alive? If that were the case, I imagine people would be queueing up to get a new pancreas. ')}

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