Hay fever vaccine on the horizon

For many, hay fever could be a thing of the past, thanks to a vaccine that may be available as early as 2011, according to the London Daily Mail.

The newspaper reports that the vaccine, called the Pollinex Quatro, is administered four times over a three week period. Testing has shown that the vaccination can cut the need for hay fever treatments such as eye drops and allergy pills in half, according to the newspaper.

At a London allergy conference recently, doctors said that three years' worth of annual treatments might even cure hay fever.

The vaccine, which is designed to trick the immune system into mobilizing white blood cells to attack what it believes is a far more dangerous virus than hay fever, was tested on about 1,000 people from England, the U.S., Canada and Austria, according to the newspaper. It reduced symptoms of hay fever 19.2 percent across the board, but also helped some hay fever sufferers improve their response to hay fever by 43.4 percent, the Daily Mail reported.

"This is a short course that can be completed in just four injections given before the pollen season, setting you up to improve your symptoms," Tom Holdich, director of research and development with Allergy Therapeutics, told the Daily Mail. "It is very convenient for both the patient and the doctor. We saw that it works across the board, from Toronto to Texas and Newcastle to London."