Archive for immune system

Flu Shots May Build Fewer Antibodies in Kids

Posted in Flu Shot, Vaccinations with tags , , , , on January 4, 2012 by saynsumthn

Before you decide to get a flu shot for yourself or your child, take a few minutes to look into the research on both their effectiveness and safety.

What you will find may very well impact your decision.

Case in point, new research in the Journal of Virology, found that the seasonal flu vaccine may weaken children’s immune systems and increase their chances of getting sick from influenza viruses not included in the vaccine.

Further, when blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children and 14 children who had received an annual flu shot were compared, the former unvaccinated group naturally built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains compared to the latter vaccinated group.

Unfortunately, the pattern with many doctors aggressively promoting vaccinations, the flu shot included, is to “shoot first” and ask questions later.

The truth is there are many unanswered questions about whether or not the flu shot is safe and effective, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends them for everyone over the age of 6 months, nonetheless.

As ABC News Reports:

New research has found the flu vaccine may weaken some children’s immune systems to other influenza viruses. While experts do not recommend halting flu vaccines, they do recommend further research to eradicate adverse side effects, according to a study published in the Journal of Virology.

Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, collected blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children with an average age of 6 years old, and 14 children with cystic fibrosis who received an annual flu shot. Children with chronic illnesses like cystic fibrosis are required to get flu shots in the Netherlands.

Children who were not vaccinated built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains than kids who were vaccinated, the small study found.

“Annual vaccination against influenza is effective but may have potential drawbacks that have previously been underappreciated and that are also a matter of debate,” lead author Rogier Bodewes said in a statement.

While the current vaccine, which has been around for more than 60 years, is not a perfect one, Dr. Andy Pavia, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force, said people should not be discouraged against getting the vaccine from this study.

“For kids with cystic fibrosis, their lungs are already bombarded with other infectious agents,” said Pavia. “We’d really like to see whether the unvaccinated or vaccinated kids do better when faced with a new strain of influenza. The ideal study would compare healthy kids to healthy kids to really see if the results are true.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Pregnant women, children under 5, health care workers, those over 50 and people with chronic medical conditions are at especially high risk of flu-related complications, and should receive the shot as soon as it becomes available each year.

“We’re seeing a lot of work on a wide variety of promising vaccines,” said Pavia. “It isn’t perfect, and the study does point out how vaccines could get even better in preventing viruses.”

Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review

Posted in Aborted Baby Body Parts, Vaccinations with tags , , , , , , on April 2, 2011 by saynsumthn

3/31/2011 CBS

For all those who’ve declared the autism-vaccine debate over – a new scientific review begs to differ. It considers a host of peer-reviewed, published theories that show possible connections between vaccines and autism.

The article in the Journal of Immunotoxicology is entitled “Theoretical aspects of autism: Causes–A review.” The author is Helen Ratajczak, surprisingly herself a former senior scientist at a pharmaceutical firm. Ratajczak did what nobody else apparently has bothered to do: she reviewed the body of published science since autism was first described in 1943. Not just one theory suggested by research such as the role of MMR shots, or the mercury preservative thimerosal; but all of them.

Ratajczak’s article states, in part, that “Documented causes of autism include genetic mutations and/or deletions, viral infections, and encephalitis [brain damage] following vaccination [emphasis added]. Therefore, autism is the result of genetic defects and/or inflammation of the brain.”

The article goes on to discuss many potential vaccine-related culprits, including the increasing number of vaccines given in a short period of time. “What I have published is highly concentrated on hypersensitivity, Ratajczak told us in an interview, “the body’s immune system being thrown out of balance.”

University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Brian Strom, who has served on Institute of Medicine panels advising the government on vaccine safety says the prevailing medical opinion is that vaccines are scientifically linked to encephalopathy (brain damage), but not scientifically linked to autism. As for Ratajczak’s review, he told us he doesn’t find it remarkable. “This is a review of theories. Science is based on facts. To draw conclusions on effects of an exposure on people, you need data on people. The data on people do not support that there is a relationship. As such, any speculation about an explanation for a (non-existing) relationship is irrelevant.”

Ratajczak also looks at a factor that hasn’t been widely discussed: human DNA contained in vaccines. That’s right, human DNA. Ratajczak reports that about the same time vaccine makers took most thimerosal out of most vaccines (with the exception of flu shots which still widely contain thimerosal), they began making some vaccines using human tissue. Ratajczak says human tissue is currently used in 23 vaccines. She discusses the increase in autism incidences corresponding with the introduction of human DNA to MMR vaccine, and suggests the two could be linked. Ratajczak also says an additional increased spike in autism occurred in 1995 when chicken pox vaccine was grown in human fetal tissue.

Why could human DNA potentially cause brain damage? The way Ratajczak explained it to me: “Because it’s human DNA and recipients are humans, there’s homologous recombinaltion tiniker. That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Now it’s changed, altered self and body kills it. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation. It doesn’t stop, it continues through the life of that individual.”

Dr. Strom said he was unaware that human DNA was contained in vaccines but told us, “It does not matter…Even if human DNA were then found in vaccines, it does not mean that they cause autism.” Ratajczak agrees that nobody has proven DNA causes autism; but argues nobody has shown the opposite, and scientifically, the case is still open.

A number of independent scientists have said they’ve been subjected to orchestrated campaigns to discredit them when their research exposed vaccine safety issues, especially if it veered into the topic of autism. We asked Ratajczak how she came to research the controversial topic. She told us that for years while working in the pharmaceutical industry, she was restricted as to what she was allowed to publish. “I’m retired now,” she told CBS News. “I can write what I want.”

We wanted to see if the CDC wished to challenge Ratajczak’s review, since many government officials and scientists have implied that theories linking vaccines to autism have been disproven, and Ratajczak states that research shows otherwise. CDC officials told us that “comprehensive review by CDC…would take quite a bit of time.” In the meantime, CDC provided these links:

Interagency Autism Coordination Committee: http://iacc.hhs.gov

Overview of all CDC surveillance and epi work: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/research.html