Lewis Nelson, a medical toxicologist and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, is available to discuss the possible benefits and many uncertainties of the experimental fentanyl vaccine.

“Vaccines against other noninfectious agents, such as cocaine, have been created before but have never entered clinical use,” Nelson said. “As a concept, these vaccines could be highly effective in mitigating the clinical effect of drugs such as fentanyl, reducing their rewarding and addictive effects and possibly reducing the overdose risk, but this is essentially untested in humans. There are some challenges that need to be addressed, both clinical and ethical, but given the harm associated with fentanyl use, clinical trials are welcome.”

Journalists whose deadlines preclude interviews may use the quotes in this advisory.