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How Do Vaccines Work? Immune Mechanisms and Consequences

Written by Stephen C. Marini, DC, PhD   
Thursday, 01 March 2007 00:00
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From Dr. Moskowitz’s previous article in Pathways (issue 10), we learned that the theoretical effect of vaccines on the infectious diseases they are designed to protect against is misleading at best.

He also illuminated the potential long-term consequences of vaccines on an individual’s overall health and wellness. I would like to present what is known about the body’s immunologic response when exposed to a microorganism naturally as compared to the response generated by the conventional vaccines. Questions that this discussion will raise are:

  1. Can the immune responses generated by the vaccines create a pattern of immune imbalance that actually compromises the child’s immune system?
  2. Does the resulting pattern of immune imbalance promote imbalances in other body systems resulting in chronic health issues?
  3. What is known about reversing the imbalance generated by vaccines and/or other immune stressors?

How Do Vaccines WorkWe have known for decades that getting the childhood diseases naturally results in a permanent immunity to the specific microorganism. Getting the vaccines results in a temporary immunity, meaning that susceptibility is deferred and repeated booster shots will be required for the ENTIRE life of the individual. In the 80s, the specific immune mechanisms involved in vaccine-induced immunity was discerned. In the 90s, the same mechanisms in humans were explored. T cells (thymus cells) are the major cell in the immune system; they direct and control all immune responses as well as immune memory. Subsets of T cells are the T-helper cells (Th). T-helper cells coordinate and direct the safest and most effective immune response. Using Moskowitz’s measles example, we know that, when infected with the measles virus naturally via the nasopharyngeal route, the body produces a Th1 response that externalizes the infection and provides permanent immunity.1 Fever, rash, coughing, sneezing, etc are signs of the body ridding itself of this infection. Bypassing the normal body lines of defense by injecting a vaccine forces the immune system into an emergency-based Th2 response which serves to internalize the infection. You don’t get the disease but are susceptible to the disease later since the Th2 response results in poor immune memory. So, if a natural, viral (measles) infection results in a Th1 response, why don’t we make vaccines that could elicit the same response.

In 1995, Golding and Scott,2 published the need for strategies to make vaccines that would generate the “required” Th cell to the corresponding microorganism. Since that time, attempts to produce vaccines that would generate a “natural”- type response have failed. So, we are left with vaccines that generate “protective” responses as a second choice. How does this work? In vaccine-induced Th2 responses, called humoral responses, the body produces large quantities of specific antibodies that block the virus from entering cells. This response is why a vaccinated child doesn’t get a full blown infection and why the child won’t spread as many viruses into the environment. However, antibodies cannot get into cells to eliminate viruses once the viruses are in the cells or cannot kill infected cells themselves. Therefore, the body has no choice other than to internalize the virus and be chronically infected when the body is forced into a Th2 antibody response. The body is essentially constipated with viruses that it cannot expel!

How Do Vaccines WorkUnvaccinated children who are exposed to measles will generate the immune response that is required to make permanent immunity as well as kick out the virus from the body. The normal, healthy body’s response to viruses is to externalize them. To suppress this natural response can be as hazardous to our health as suppressing waste elimination from the bowel or toxin release from the skin. Natural Th1 responses generate cell-mediated responses that serve to both neutralize viruses by producing antibodies and most importantly stimulate the immune cells necessary to kill any cells infected with viruses. The body works to externalize and eliminate viruses when the Th1 response is generated. So we understand now that when a Th2 response is induced, “it drives the infection deeper into the interior and causes us to harbor it chronically.”3 It is commonly held that the presence of antibody to viruses is a sign of a chronic on-going infection not a sign of immunity.4 Our bodies generally need to have Th1 cells to defend against viral, Gram-negative bacterial, and fungal infections, and tuberculosis, as well as to protect against cancer. Th2 response is necessary to protect against Gram-positive bacterial, parasitic infections, as well as to neutralize toxins from microorganisms and the environment. A balance of Th1/Th2 cells in the body is defined as immunostasis (or immune balance) and is required for optimum health and wellness. Vaccines promote a failure in immunostasis by making the Th2-type cells dominant.