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I have heard of antivenom naturally being produced in honey badgers(they are able to sleep off the venom). My humanoids also naturally produce antivenom as antibodies. But here is the thing. Even with their super immune system, it still takes 5 years(5 Kepler years so that is equivalent to 44 earth years) to get their immune system to maximum strength. But for my humanoids, a 5 year old humanoid is much closer to a 9 year old human than a 44 year old human because my humanoids develop fast and live long in terms of Kepler years(100+) and they age in terms of Kepler years and not earth years.

Anyway, my point is when the civilization advances enough to give a vaccine, there is no doubt that young children(below 5 years old) will encounter at least 1 venomous snake. Without any vaccine or treatment, the child will probably be fine as long as the symptoms are taken care of. But there is a chance that the child might have a near death experience or worse, die. This death and near death would want to be prevented so here is how I think they should go about this:

First they milk the snake to get the venom out(adults don't have to worry about getting bit in the process because of their natural antivenom antibodies).

Second they dilute the venom in saline so that it isn't all that strong.

Third they inject a tiny dose of the diluted venom into the young child's bloodstream. Because there is so little venom in the dose, very few symptoms will come about as a response to the venom(itchiness, pain maybe, and of course a bit of swelling and redness but not much else). This should be enough venom to trigger the immune system to form antibodies against it so that if the child gets bit by the snake that produces that same venom, they will be much less likely to die or have a near death experience, yet a small enough amount so that death isn't cause by the vaccine itself.

Would this work though, injecting tiny amounts of venom to build immunity so that the percentage of snakebites that cause death lowers and aiming for young children to get the venom injection while still below 5 years old?

And would they have to watch the child for a few days after the injection to see if they are allergic to the venom?

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  • $\begingroup$ What your describing is the active immunisation against some sicknesses as we do it nowadays (flu, measles, I think). Such treatments are pretty common. $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Dec 22 '16 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ I know but not for venom. For us humans, we usually just use antivenom after the snakebite which isn't the same thing as naturally producing the antivenom. When antivenom is infused and sent through an IV that is passive immunity(antibodies already there and venom being flushed out). Passive immunity does not last since the antibodies might trigger the immune system to form antibodies against the antibodies. Active immunization however is when the immune system itself forms the antibodies against whatever the immunization is for(in this case venomous snakebites). $\endgroup$ – Caters Dec 22 '16 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ But since your humanoids aren't humans, an active immunisation against a snakebite may be possible. $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Dec 22 '16 at 7:13
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You decide, but basically, yes.

You're creating a new race here with entirely new physiologies. What you're describing doesn't break the laws of physics, so yeah, sure, go for it. As o.m. has pointed out we already do something similar with allergic reactions in humans, though that tends to be with much less violent allergens and doesn't really have an effect if the allergen was likely to kill you in the first place. It's worth nothing though that this is something we already do

Another potential method may be harvesting the antivenin from healthy adults and dosing the child with it. If their bodies don't break down the antivenin as fast as ours would a large dose is as good as a long term inoculation.

As for having to watch the child: Any medical procedure that involves artificially introducing something dangerous to the body needs close attention. Modern vaccines don't need watching as they don't typically carry the 'dangerous' parts of the virus that they're inoculating against or are so finely balanced following years of experimentation and refinement that they can be expected to work in all but exceptional cases. I'd expect your 'inoculation' to be much the same way after a little while.

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There is allergen immunotherapy. Injecting increasing amounts of allergen to create immunity. That would be what you are talking about, right?

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure I've read of this method having been used in antiquity for sbake venom. It certainly (usually) works for bee-keepers, who become all but unaffected by bee stings. A small minority instead become sensitized to the point that a single bee sting can be fatal. $\endgroup$ – nigel222 Dec 22 '16 at 20:15

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