Study Disproves CDC’s Primary Justification for Vaccination

dsc03308-c2-bluIt’s Winter, time to get your flu shot, right? Not so fast.

The debate over immunity/vaccinations and vaccine safety/injury goes on.  There is enough evidence out there to promote pushing for the right to make decisions about vaccinations for yourself and for your own children – without losing their right to see a doctor or getting an education.

I am not “anti-vaccine”; I am “pro informed consent” and “pro parental rights” to choose what medical procedures my children undergo and when.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Immunity to a disease is achieved through the presence of antibodies to that disease in a person’s system.”[i] This, in fact, is the main justification for using vaccines to “boost” immunity, and a primary focus of vaccine research and development.

And yet, newly published research has revealed that in some cases no antibodies are required for immunity against some viruses.

Published in the journal Immunity in March, 2011, and titled, “B cell maintenance of subcapsular sinus macrophages protects against a fatal viral infection independent of adaptive immunity,” researchers found that mice infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) can suffer fatal invasion of their central nervous system even in the presence of high concentrations of “neutralizing” antibodies against VSV.[ii]

The researchers found that while B-cells were essential for surviving a systemic VSV infection through the modulation of innate immunity, specifically macrophage behavior, the antibodies they produce as part of the adaptive immune response were “neither needed nor sufficient for protection.”  These findings, according to the study authors, “…contradict the current view that B cell-derived neutralizing antibodies are absolutely required to survive a primary cytopathic viral infection, such as that caused by VSV.”

The discovery that antibodies are not required for protection against infection, while counterintuitive, is not novel. In fact, not only are antibodies not required for immunity, in some cases high levels are found in the presence of active, even lethal infections.  For example, high serum levels of antibodies against tetanus have been observed failing to confer protection against the disease.  A report from 1992 published in the journal Neurology found severe tetanus in immunized patients with high anti-tetanus titers, one of whom died as a result of the infection.[iii]

[i] CDC.gov, Basics and Common Questions: Immunity Types

[iii] Severe tetanus in immunized patients with high anti-tetanus titers. Neurology. 1992 Apr ;42(4):761-4. PMID: 1565228

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