According to a study done at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, vaccinating children annually against the influenza virus may interfere with their development of cross-reactive killer T cells to flu viruses. In this study, blood samples were collected from children with cystic fibrosis, who were vaccinated every year against the flu due to their weaker immune system, and also from healthy children who were NOT vaccinated. The analysis of the results showed that while both samples contained the virus-specific killer T cells, the samples from the constantly-vaccinated children with cystic fibrosis indicated less of a natural "increase" in their number annually. In other words, the healthy unvaccinated children demonstrated a natural increase of the virus-specific killer T cells every year, with age, while those who were vaccinated annually did not.
Researchers concluded that vaccination could thus potentially interfere with the induction of these killer T cells..
Then should the annual vaccination of children with cystic fibrosis, or defective immune systems in general, be stopped?
- Julie Saffarian