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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Effect of vaccines on our messed-up immune systems?

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Author Topic: Effect of vaccines on our messed-up immune systems?
Sue vG
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There's a good chance I'll be going on a business trip to Rio de Janeiro this fall. Could be worse!

At first I was stressing because I have heavy metal problems and was afraid of thimerosal preservative being in the two vaccines I need -- Hepatitis A and Typhoid -- but I've learned that these vaccines do not contain this mercury compound.

Nevertheless, I know that my immune system is messed up. My NK cells are very low, and an allergist put a name to my type of immune dysfunction, but I have forgotten what it was.

My question is, does anyone know how various vaccines affect lymed immune systems? Has anyone taken these vaccines without a problem?



Posts: 1307 | From TX | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I have taken the Hep A vaccine. I didn't have a problem that I know of. It was given in 2 parts (6-8 months apart). I have hepC so was afraid not to so took my chances.

I don't know how it effects the immune system but felt I had no choice.

I have awful reactions to flu vaccines and have stopped allowing them. Start itching from the moment the needle touches me. Ugh!

Posts: 3783 | From somewhere other than here | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Science magazine on vaccines causing autoimmune disease

Economist article on autoimmune risks of vaccines

Testimony of Betty D. Fluck---Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Vaccine May 18, 1999

Do Vaccines Disable the Immune System? by Randall Neustaedter, O.M.D.

This is a tiny fraction of what's been published, just did a quick search.

There is no medical proof that vaccines work, no long term study of safety or efficacy, and plenty of sound medical info that injections of bacteria that bypass all usual immune system safeguards (by gtoing directly into the bloodstream) can do damage to the immune system.

With Lyme especially, I wouldn't risk it.



Dr Alan Cantwell

For almost two decades, thousands of immunologists and virologists
involved in AIDS research at a cost running into the billions of
dollars, have attempted to explain the qualitative dysfunctions of PBMCs
subsequent to resolution of primary HIV-1 infection.

The most important of these dysfunctions has been the impairment of
proliferative responses to mitogens, specific antigens, and recall

Therefore, AIDS research has been focused on how the HIV-1 proteins
(nef, tat, rev, env (gp160, gp120, gp41), vpr, vif, gag) can cause these
dysfunctions that are not seen in HIV-negative controls.

Intriguingly, in the 8/00 Clinical Immunology, researchers at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School determined that, after
vaccinia immunization of healthy laboratory workers, these same
qualitative dysfunctions were found--transiently--immediately after
the immunizations.

Mathew et al. (2000) state: "This is the first report of in vitro
immunosuppression following uncomplicated vaccinia immunization. We
found that proliferative responses of PBMC to mitogens, specific
antigens, and recall antigens were decreased after immunization with
vaccinia virus in four of five volunteers studies."

These decreased proliferative responses were to PHA, anti-CD3, tetanus
toxoid antigens, influenza viral antigens, and vaccinia viral antigens.

Immunizations cause normal immune system activation in the secondary
lymphoid tissues (spleen, lymph nodes, Peyer's patches). After
resolution, activated lymphocytes are desequestered to the peripheral
blood. HIV-1 infection of humans causes chronic immune system
activation, which is not resolved.

As shown with HAART therapy, desequestration consists primarily of
activated lymphocytes (e.g., anergic suppressor CD4 T cells expressing
CD4+CD25+) (J Immunol 2000, 165:1692-1704; J Clin Invest 1999,

Anergic cells do not respond to mitogens, specific antigens, or recall

Interestingly, in the vaccinia immunized laboratory workers, PBMC
proliferative responses to PHA were restored with the addition of IL-2
or irradiated autologous healthy PBMC.

For more information on anergic suppressor CD4+CD25+ T cells, the
brilliant studies by NIAID's Thornton and Shevach should be read
(J Immunol 2000, 164:183-190; J Exp Med 1998, 188:287-296; J Immunol
1998, 160:1212-8).


Mathew A, Ennis FA, Rothman AL. Transient Decreases in Human T Cell
Proliferative Responses Following Vaccinia Immunization. Clin Immunol
2000 Aug;96(2):100-107.

Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research, University of
Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts, 01655

Email: [email protected]

Abstract: To further study the immunosuppression associated with virus
infections, we analyzed the proliferative responses of serial PBMC
samples obtained following vaccinia virus immunization. In four of five
volunteers, responses to PHA, anti-CD3, vaccinia virus, and recall
antigens were markedly decreased at at least one time point between days
5 and 29 after vaccination. Responses to PHA were restored by the
addition of IL-2 or irradiated autologous healthy PBMC in the two
volunteers tested, suggesting that the proliferation defect is
attributable to accessory cell dysfunction. In one donor, immobilized
anti-CD3 failed to induce proliferation, but addition of immobilized
anti-CD28 partially restored proliferation. These results indicate that
vaccinia virus infection can transiently suppress proliferative
responses of PBMC, in part by causing accessory cell dysfunction. Our
findings extend the list of viral infections associated with systemic
immunologic effects and demonstrate that suppression of proliferation
can occur with localized virus infections.

[Vaccination] [Dr Cantwell]

[This message has been edited by Mo (edited 23 June 2005).]

Posts: 8337 | From the other shore | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hi Sue,

I can understand your dilemma and worry about this.

I was also invited to South Africa a while back, I did not go because I did not want to A. risk malaria and B. risk vaccines .

We all react differently though and where it hurts one person it might not hurt the next. A crystal ball would be useful.

Edited to say that I have friends, who are not ill, but who do not believe in vaccines for themselves or their children. They have travelled extensively in the far east and places where normally one would get lots of vaccines. They only used homeopathic vaccines. They did not get sick. But then again, that might not be anything to do with the homeopathic stuff, maybe they just were lucky to not catch anything.


[This message has been edited by dontlikeliver (edited 23 June 2005).]

Posts: 2824 | From The Back of Beyond | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
deb obrien
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hi sue - it was a yellow fever vaccination that finally put me on the couch 6 years ago...i had been in one of my good spells and was going to go to peru with friends - in case we got to the jungle i had the yellow fever vaccine. i know that i can't take anything that puts more antigens into the old body - my mmune system goes totally bonkers and so far it hasn't settled down...i had had problems with airplanes and insect bites in the past - it took a long time for me to understand that i had a problem with the immune system...

if you go to rio and are careful with food and water i don't think that you'll necessarily have any problems...if you go into the jungle????

good luck, deb


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janet thomas
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When traveling abroad you must be vigilant about anything that goes in your mouth.

Use bottled water or drinks only-that includes brushing your teeth.

Food-no raw food (salads, fruits) unless you know absolutely they have been properly cleaned. The only fruit I eat abroad is bananas-I can peel them myself.

Eat at higher priced restaurants. Still, no raw foods. No street food at all.

If it were me I'd not get the vaccines but be extraordinarily careful about your exposure to pathogens.

Enjoy the trip, travel is marvelous. Maybe someday I'll be able to to it again.

I spent a lot of time in S and C America. I did get dengue from a rainforest trip, 10 days of 102 fever and then it passed. Wish Lyme was so easy.

If you will be in malaria areas you might consider prophylatic treatment.

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yankee in black
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Hi Sue,

It has always been a sneaking suspection of mine that almost all of us who suffer the chronic infection of borrelia have some sort of immune malfunction.

It's hard to believe for those of us--such as yours truly (me!) that suffer chronic infection, that there are those patients who do get well--fairly easily by chronic standards ( Read My defination of easy: At least 1 yr tx for those sick less than one yr, two years of tx. for those who have been sick for more than one year, and IV abx maybe needed here)

And deal with co-infections at the same bleaping time!!

I did see quite a few folks recover their health when living in NYC from this disease

My theory: They had a better innate immune response than those of us who become chronic

But one of many theories in LymeLand

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Sue vG
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies.

I'm leaning toward skipping the vaccines.
Since I doubt I'll be "cured" by then, I will have my abx with me. Zithromax is one of the abx recommended for travel.

Posts: 1307 | From TX | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I had a tetanus/diptheria shot in April and had no problem.

I do, however, think the reason vaccines are considered the cause of many childhood tragedies is because they react poorly with Lyme (diagnosed or undiagnosed).


Posts: 210 | From lalaland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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