EDITORIAL/Overdose Vaccine: Researchers hope to begin human trials early next year

Everyone knows there is an opioid abuse crisis in this country.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 106,000 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. 2021. Opioids accounted for more than 80,000 of those deaths.

But hope may be on the way to reduce those numbers.

Researchers at the University of Montana and its partner facilities have developed vaccines to prevent users from overdosing on heroin or fentanyl.

The vaccines have proved effective in animal tests. Researchers hope to begin human trials early next year. A spokesman for UM said that the vaccines, if successful in humans, could remain effective between 2 and 4 years.

It could take several years before the final product is approved and widely available. But the fact these vaccines are ready for human testing is an incredible accomplishment. It shows what science can do with a dream and the committment.

These vaccines could save thousands of lives each year. We wish the researchers behind this every success.

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