At most, vaccines confer partial and temporary immunity

“… Vaccines confer at most partial and temporary immunity, which sounds reasonable enough, inasmuch as they consist of either live viruses, rendered less virulent by serial passage in tissue culture, or bacteria and bacterial products that have been killed by heat and/or chemical adjuvants, such that they can still elicit an antibody response without initiating a full-blown disease. In other words, the vaccine is a ‘trick,’ in the sense that it simulates the true or natural immunity developed in the course of recovering from the natural disease, and it is therefore reasonable to expect that such artificial immunity will in fact ‘wear off’ in time, and even require additional ‘booster’ doses at regular intervals throughout life to maintain peak effectiveness.

Such an explanation would be disturbing enough to most people. Indeed, the basic fallacy in it is already evident in the fact that there is no way to know how long this partial, temporary immunity will last in any given individual, or how often it will need to be restimulated, since the answers to these questions presumably depend on the same individual variables that would have determined whether and how severely the same person, if unvaccinated, would have contracted the disease in the first place. In any case, a number of other observations suggest equally strongly that this simple explanation cannot be the correct one.

In the first place, one careful study has shown that when a person vaccinated against the measles again becomes susceptible to it, even repeated booster doses will have little or no long-lasting effect. In the second place, the vaccines do not act merely by producing pale or mild copies of the original disease; they also commonly produce a variety of symptoms of their own, which in some cases may be more serious than the disease, involving deeper structures, more vital organs, and less of a tendency to resolve themselves spontaneously, as well as being typically more difficult to recognize.

Thus in a recent outbreak of mumps in supposedly immune schoolchildren, several developed atypical symptoms, such as anorexia, vomiting, and erythematous rashes, but no parotid involvement, and hence could not be diagnosed without extensive serological testing to rule out other concurrent diseases. The syndrome of ‘atypical measles’ can be equally difficult to diagnose, even when it is thought of, which suggests that it may not seldom be overlooked entirely. In some cases, atypical measles can be much more severe than the regular kind, with pneumonia, petechiæ, edema, and severe pain, and likewise often goes unsuspected.

In any case, it seems virtually certain that other vaccine-related syndromes will be described and identified, if only we take the trouble to look for them, and that the ones we are aware of so far represent only a very small part of the problem. But even these few make it less and less plausible to assume that vaccines produce a normal, healthy immunity that lasts for some time but then wears off, leaving the patient miraculously unharmed and unaffected by the experience.”

— Richard Moskowitz, MD

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