“You tear your muscles to become stronger. You learn to fall to become a dancer. . . . Why should your immune system be any different?” Copenhagen-born tissue company Vaev explains its mission in a video on its website.
Except Vaev’s tissues are different from any other tissue you’ll ever meet. The company doesn’t believe in protecting your immune system with shots or pills.
The idea here is that you can choose to get sick on your own timetable. Once you’ve carried the illness, you don’t have to worry about getting that strain of cold again.
However, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist, and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, told Yahoo Lifestyle that he doesn’t think this method works.
According to Schaffner, people could just get infected with another one of the 200 cold virus strains out there.
Then, there’s the question of how the whole thing works in the first place. Do people actually reuse someone else’s tissue?
Vaev makes it sound manufactured in its product description: “Specifically engineered to contain and absorb colloid buildup, salts, antiseptic enzymes, immunoglobulins, and glycoproteins such as lactoferrin and mucins.”
However, a brief Time Magazine interview with Oliver Niessen revealed the founder claiming Vaev does, in fact, use dedicated “sneezers” for the product.
According to Time, the company waits until the sneezers are sick enough before infecting the tissues. Then, Vaev can sell the product.
Various media channels are calling such an idea “bizarre” or “mysterious” and wondering whether the company understands the liability. Vaev describes the tissue as non-prescriptive, but its health claims are definitely raising expert eyebrows.
“This is potentially hazardous if it does work,” Schaffner said to Yahoo Lifestyle.
While little is known about Vaev, the company is active on some social channels. However, not all users are tracking with the company’s mission.
Twitter users are often seen asking, “This is a joke, right?” However, the company leaves their questions unanswered.
In place of such unconventional techniques, the CDC recommends preventing colds with more common methods: by washing hands and avoiding contact around your face. Ironically, the trusted health organization also recommends staying away from sick people (6).
That likely means you should stay away from expensive pre-used tissues as well.