What is the Vaccine?

The Vaccine for herpes {1} is the invention of Dr. William Halford. After 20 plus years of research, he and his team engineered and developed an experimental vaccine {2} for herpes simplex--for types one and two. This is very similar to the MMR vaccine and it should be obvious as to how well that vaccine works in preventing disease. Dr. Halford also found that the Vaccine could be applied as a therapeutic/immunotherapy for the many that suffer from recurrent manifestations of the virus. 

Currently the vaccine is being studied, developed and improved by Rational Vaccines, A company founded by Dr. Halford and Agustin Fernandez. Unfortunately, Dr. Halford lost his battle to cancer in 2017, but his mission remains the same as the team is moving forward for the past few years now. 

Consultations with the FDA CBER took place in 2018, so further information about new trials is pending and will be announced by Rational Vaccines. The future is looking hopeful however, the approval of new drugs in the United States is an extremely long and tedious process. For this and many other reasons, I have volunteered my time and energy to create a nonprofit campaign for herpes awareness and to give a platform for those who suffer to have a voice. Almost everyone who has herpes; in a debilitating way, often remains silent and hidden. This is why this subject needs attention. If no one is saying there’s a problem, I guess there is none, right? 

The campaign is also a way for people to write letters and sign a petition to let the many people (who have the power to help) Congressman/women, senators and the FDA, to ask them for help. This can help facilitate a shorter period for drug approval since the average time for this is over ten years, up to 15 years. Even if you don’t support the Vaccine (rvx101 and rvx201), you can still send letters and have a voice.

According to Dr Halfords work, the therapeutic version of the herpes vaccine is designed to reintroduce the body to herpes in a more controlled manner using a live viral vaccine. This Vaccine has attenuating mutations which slow the replication process of herpes, thereby slowing down the immune evasion strategies while simultaneously exposing an individuals immune response to the herpes proteins it may have been missing in order to effectively control the disease.

Herpes has many immune evasion strategies that it employs during the infection process. These strategies make herpes very successful at evading both innate ( complement activation and adaptive (antibodies and T cells) immune responses. Because of the immune evasion strategies, it is possible that the immune cells in individuals suffering from recurrent disease may have missed many of the intended targets of herpes. A persons immune response is dependent on its ability to identify the 75 proteins that make up the virus, so that it can create the proper antibodies. The Vaccine can possibly help facilitate this action by re-teaching the immune system these missing “lessons." This science looks very promising but more studies will need to take place.

{1} This experimental vaccine (rvx101 and rvx201) is currently not available for sale or public use and is not FDA approved. More studies, science, and proper testing are still pending. 

{2} FDA testing and studies pending. 

The Founder of Penny for your thoughts campaign website, Rich Mancuso, has never been paid from Rational Vaccines and does not work for the company. All efforts are nonprofit and volunteer.

Official email response from my inquiry to Rational Vaccines.

Official email response from Rational Vaccines

May 16, 2019 

Dear Mr. Mancuso, 

I am, in my capacity as patient advocate for Rational Vaccines (RVx), responding to your request for information regarding the status of RVx’s efforts to design and obtain approval of a product for the treatment of HSV-1 and HSV-2. 

Thank you for your inquiry. I have visited your website* and truly appreciate your efforts to provide a place where people struggling with the effects of HSV can find information and a supportive environment be they newly infected or having struggled for years with the physical and emotional pain of this disease. 

RVx is committed to finding a treatment for those infected with HSV and is progressing a number of pre-clinical candidates, based on the late Dr. Bill Halford’s science, for which it plans to submit an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA). 

RVx’s lead candidate, RVx201, is under development for the treatment of HSV-2. As this is an investigational product, it does not yet have an FDA-approved ‘brand’ name. Provided the FDA determines the IND is safe and effective for the treatment of HSV-2, the Agency will assign it a name. 

RVx has conducted a pre-IND meeting with the FDA and will continue to seek the Agency’s guidance in working towards IND submission. It is RVx’s expectation that the IND will be submitted in 2021, but we are working as hard as we can to have the platform ready for an earlier submittal. 

Please feel free to contact me should you have further questions. 


Diane R. Abbitt 


Dr. William Halford

EDUCATION:  B.S. Marine Biology and Microbiology, University of  California, Santa  Barbara (1986-91); Ph.D. Viral Immunology, Louisiana  State University  HSC, New Orleans (1992-96); Postdoctoral fellow,  Molecular Virology,  University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1997-2000) FACULTY  APPOINTMENTS: Assistant Professor of Microbiology and  Immunology,  Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans  (2000-2004);  Assistant Professor of Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State   University, Bozeman (2004-2007); Associate Professor of Microbiology  and  Immunology, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine,   Springfield (2007 - present)

 Dr Halford passed away on June 22, 2017

Dr William Halford's work

Pan-HSV-2 IgG antibody in vaccinated mice and guinea pigs correlates with protection

Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infected cell proteins are among the most dominant antigens

ICP0 is required for efficient reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1

The immediate-early protein, ICP0, is essential for the resistance of herpes simplex virus