What is a vaccine?
It is basically an ‘injected pathogen’ whose role is to MIMIC the natural immune response as closely as possible.
As I mentioned in my previous blogs we have the INNATE and ACQUIRED Immune system. NATURALLY, BOTH are activated when a pathogen (invader)’ is detected. Remember the Castle and Fort analogy?
The goal of vaccines is to MIMIC natural immunity as much as possible without damaging the host. The ideal way of mimicking this would be to expose the host to the ‘whole’ inactivated version of the pathogen without any side effects.
There are different types of vaccines and one can divide them into 2 basic groups (just so you get the gist)
1. Live-attenuated vaccines – this is the live ‘pathogen’ such as the whole bacteria or virus that has been weakened. In this case the micro-organism will start to multiply in the body and trigger an immune response. NOT advised for those who are immuno-compromised. These vaccines include the MMR, chickenpox, shingles, nasal flu.
2. Killed-inactivated vaccines – this is where the micro-organism is destroyed/inactivated and it contains the whole micro-organism or parts of it.
This group can be further sub-divided into
i. Whole killed vaccines which are from the whole micro-organism, such hepatitis A, polio (in the 6 in 1) SOME inactivated flu vaccines
ii. Acellular vaccines which are made from ‘parts/bits of the micro-organism’ be it the bacteria or the virus part. These ‘bits’ are what the cells recognize as foreign.
These acellular vaccines can be further divided into recombinant vaccines (a part of the DNA is taken from the virus or bacteria and put in other cells like yeast or bacteria to make a protein that the immune system will recognize), conjugate vaccines (where a ‘bit’ of the bacteria is attached to a toxoid which is a toxin produced by another bacteria), and toxoid vaccines (made from the toxins released by the bacteria).
The recombinants include HPV vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine (individual one as well as the one in the 6 in 1) and Meningitis B vaccine.
The conjugate vaccines include Hib, Meningitis C, pneumococcal vaccine. And the toxoid vaccines include Pertussis, Diptheria and Tetanus (in the 6 in 1)
The goal of the vaccine is to stimulate both the innate and the acquired immune systems without destroying the host.
The ‘live vaccines’ are also known to shed, so if someone has had one of these vaccines they ideally should avoid those who are immuno-compromised. This information is not provided by most doctors/nurses.
Now some vaccines have no impact on the immune system or have very little and this means that the individual is not ‘immune’ to that disease. So ADJUVANTS are added to a vaccine. There are other ingredients in the vaccines which I will not go into but you can find here on the UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD website.
The word ADJUVANT comes from the latin word ‘adjuvare’ which means ‘to help’. Most of these vaccines are useless without an adjuvant. The goal is for the vaccine to trigger an immune reaction that will involve BOTH the innate and acquired immune system and to do these adjuvants are added.
Adjuvants come in various forms from EMULSION adjuvants (as in water and oil) to ALUM which is simply aluminum salts. Some adjuvants are made form ‘bits’ of ‘lipopolysaccharide’ (LPS). LPS on its own would be a VERY powerful adjuvant but it could also kill the host, so only bits of it are used.
Most adjuvants are known to stimulate TOLL LIKE RECEPTORS (TLRs), now hang in there with me…there is a point to this. These TLRs bind NON-SELF molecules so they help in alerting the body that ‘we have an invader’. Most of these adjuvants are TLRs agonists, i.e. stimulate TLRs.
These adjuvants can promote inflammation, cytokine response (chemicals that are shouting at other cells to say come on peeps we have a job to do here), and of course the ideal which is stimulating the innate and adaptive immune system.
However, to this day we still do not know how the adjuvant ALUM (the most widely used adjuvant) mediates its effects.. We know that ALUM is NOT recognized by TLRs, but what it does exactly is still unknown.
We have seen vaccines work in countries such as India and Africa, but have we considered the quality of their water? Their living conditions, their nutritional status?
What about the testing of vaccines? In the lab whenever we tested a drug we always had a control group. I was involved in researching a specific class of drugs in pancreatic cancer. Every control group had the ‘vehicle’ in which the drug was dissolved, this was VITAL. How would I know whether the cancer was shrinking due to the drug or the ‘vehicle’ or whether the mice were falling sick due to the drug or the vehicle? We had to test every possible scenario. It was expensive, it was tedious, it was long, but it was absolutely imperative.
A control group always receives an inert substance with ‘supposedly’ no physiological effect (the ‘dummy’ group). Every drug such as the typical antibiotic through to a standard blood pressure medication has to go through rigorous testing. Part of this involves placebo-controlled studies. This means one group gets the ‘real deal’ and the other group gets the ‘dummy’, the ‘dummy, being ‘safe and inert’ UNLESS proven otherwise.
There are also double-blind placebo-controlled studies, where neither the doctor nor the patient knows who is taking what. This is the GOLD STANDARD OF TESTING.
With vaccine studies, we have NEITHER. We do not have the CORRECT placebo, so double-blind placebo studies with vaccines are ‘meaningless’. Why do we not have these with vaccines?
What is the ‘dummy’/placebo group in a vaccine study? It is not saline, it is not any other inert, safe ‘vehicle’ it is everything that is IN a vaccine but without the ‘micro-organism’ bit. So this ‘dummy’ group contains the ALUM/the adjuvants, and the preservatives. In some cases, this ‘dummy’ group is another vaccine.
I want to make it clear, this is not a pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine blog, it is a pro-informed blog with some serious questions. Questions that are not being addressed, questions that I want to be addressed for the sake of my children, for their children, and their children’s children.
Here is a recent response in the British Medical Journal by a retired Paediatrician about the flu vaccines
Why is this not being discussed in mainstream media? If anything why is the opposite being pushed on the vulnerable? I ask as a daughter with elderly parents who have their flu jab every year.
Why are we not taught about healthy eating, about mental-emotional well about being, about movement, about the impact of the nervous system, about the power of meditation on our immune system?
What are we to believe? Who are we to believe?
PS. For those keen to get into the ‘nitty-gritty’ of the new vaccine and it’s various types, HERE is an article you may be interested in