One of Public Health’s greatest tools to fight any disease is a vaccine.
The benefits of a vaccine for those living and visiting areas where Valley Fever is found will be huge.
Currently, there is no vaccine available to give to people at this time.
For many diseases like measles, mumps, diphtheria, hepatitis B, etc., the vaccine can prevent you from getting the disease after exposure to someone who is contagious. When many of the vaccines were first introduced, the number of people infected by these disease decreased dramatically. Thus, a vaccine will someday be our greatest tool to prevent people from being infected with this fungus.
The scientific community has determined that of all the fungal diseases, Valley Fever is the best one suited for the development and application of a vaccine (link to Rebecca Cox and Mitchell Magee’s paper or abstract). The development of a vaccine to fight Valley Fever has been worked on since the late 1890’s and continues to this day. The scientific community will continue to pursue the development of a vaccine to prevent this disease. The time frame for developing a vaccine cannot be estimated at this time. Many factors influence vaccine development, but one of the biggest challenges is obtaining consistent, long term funding for the scientific community. Without this, development could be decades away. For additional information about the current efforts to develop a vaccine please visit the Valley Fever Vaccine Project of the Americas (http://www.valleyfever.com).