Above is the headline from a December 12, 2011 article posted on 121 Doc. The article was based on research published on the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Virology. The research shows that flu vaccine may weaken some children’s immune systems to other influenza viruses.
Lead author Rogier Bodewes, from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam Netherlands explained his beliefs by stating, “Annual vaccination against influenza is effective but may have potential drawbacks that have previously been underappreciated and that are also a matter of debate.”
In this study, researchers collected blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children whose average age was 6 years. The researchers compared these blood samples to the blood samples from 14 children with cystic fibrosis who had received the annual flu shot. The results showed that the unvaccinated children had a superior immune response, involving broader protection against the types of viruses children are exposed to during the flu season.
The study results showed that the vaccinations seem to, at least temporarily, increase one type of immunity while decreasing general immunity to many other forms of viruses and other ailments. While studying the effects of seasonal vaccinations, the researchers found that unvaccinated children developed virus-specific T cells that normally increased with age and are required for overall immunity. In contrast, researchers found that the blood samples of vaccinated children showed no increase in number of virus-specific CD8 T cells over time.
The articles and study note that many countries do not recommend routine flu vaccinations to healthy individuals and children. Dr. Bodewes, wrote, “Most countries recommend annual flu vaccination of certain high-risk groups to protect against seasonal influenza. Furthermore, some countries recommend annual influenza vaccination of all healthy children more than six months of age.”