Monday, November 15, 2010

Immunization and Vaccines

There are two types of immunization: Active and Passive. Passive immunization is temporary. Breast milk provides passive immunity for infants by providing them with antibodies. Passive is also used with immunodeficient individuals, after an exposure, and to block bacterial toxins. The shots for these are called peanut butter shots because they are really thick.  Passive comes in the form of immune serum globulin, specific immunoglobulins, and monoclonal antibodies.

When the immunization causes the activation of your own immune cells it is active immunization. This happens when you are naturally exposed to the pathogen or through vaccines. Vaccines come in two types, inactivated vaccines and live vaccines.


Autism vs Vaccines
A lot of people think that vaccines cause autism, and the short answer is they don't. There have been some reports stating there is a correlation, suck as the Wakefield et al that presented 12 cases of children with autism that supposedly got it from the MMR vaccine. But here are some facts about the Wakefield study:
  • The 12 children in the study were carefully selected, and many of their parents already believed MMR vaccination was the cause of their children’s autism.14
  • Dr Wakefield had serious undisclosed financial conflicts: he was funded by lawyers involved in lawsuits against immunization manufacturers and was applying for a new vaccine patent.14,15
  • In 2004, 10 of the 13 authors retracted their support for the MMR-autism association.16
  • Britain’s General Medical Council investigation found Wakefield guilty of dishonesty and irresponsibility.15
  • In 2010, the Lancet fully retracted the Wakefield study 
(Alan, Micheal G. The autism-vaccine story:fiction and deception?. Canadian Family Physician, 56, October 2010).

There have been over 20 case studies to determine of there is a correlation (correlation does equal causation) between MMR and autism, and all have failed to find any. Mrozek-Budzyn D and colleagues publish a paper this may in Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal stating:

Results: For children vaccinated before diagnosis, autism risk was lower in children vaccinated with MMR than in the nonvaccinated (OR: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.06-0.52) as well as to vaccinated with single measles vaccine (OR: 0.44, 95% CI: 0.22-0.91). The risk for vaccinated versus nonvaccinated (independent of vaccine type) was 0.28 (95% CI: 0.10-0.76). The risk connected with being vaccinated before onset of first symptoms was significantly lower only for MMR versus single vaccine (OR: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.22-0.99).
Conclusions: The study provides evidence against the association of autism with either MMR or a single measles vaccine.

I started a part on live vaccines, but it got lost so all I am going to say about them is some come from incubating in chicken eggs, where they grow them so they become better suited for an environment not similar to our bodies. Maybe more once my headache is gone.


  1. The autism part is significant I think. Too many people have knee-jerk reactions to vaccines, which HAVE been improving human lives for ages.

  2. The whole autism thing really gave me the shits. It's retarded that people choose to ignore credible scientific research.

  3. I don't get vaccines anymore (like flu or swine flu) mostly because they are on a limited basis and I am young and healthy so I think people who really need one (children, the elderly, mothers) should get it first.

  4. just found your blog and following.

  5. Parents believe the weirdest stuff.

  6. hellz yea microbiology :D My fav subject to date.


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