The Dilemma of Artificial Immunity: Vaccines

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On the 28th of February 1998 British gastroenterologists, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, published a paper declaring correlations between vaccines and severe developmental disorders in children (Gerber & Offit, 2009, p. 456). Although Dr. Wakefield’s study has since then been found to be flawed, his research started a highly controversial debate between artificial and natural immunity. The reality is that we still do not know all the potential short and long-term effects vaccines may have on us. Do the side effects they pose out weighing their benefits? Do we know what is being added to vaccines and are they safe? These are just a couple of questions that should be considered before vaccinating yourself or your children. Vaccines contain a whole or part of a given antigen that may either be weakened or dead. Once you have been injected with a given vaccine, your body begins to develop antibodies against that pathogen, creating temporary immunization towards that specific disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2013). This may seem like a logical way to defend our health, but by doing this we are bypassing natural IgA immunity, our first –line defense against harmful pathogens. IgA is found in mucosal tissues and works to defend against invading pathogens and other enteric toxins by blocking their attachment to epithelial cells. Eliminating this element from our natural immune system often causes our bodies to over react to vaccines, sometimes creating unwanted effects (Mantis, Rol, & Corthésy, 2011). It is well known that vaccines can cause many different side effects. Once you have received a vaccine, it is highly recommended by the CDC to monitor for sever, life-threatening symptoms. Certain adverse effects such... ... middle of paper ... ...ccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48(4), 456-461. doi:10.1086/596476 Gould, B. E., & Dyer, R. (2011). Pathophysiology for the health professions. St. Louis, Mo: Saunders/Elsevier. Mantis, N. J., Rol, N., & Corthésy, B. (2011, October 5). Mucosal Immunology - Secretory IgA's complex roles in immunity and mucosal homeostasis in the gut. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from Marcola (2011, April 29). The Emergence of Vaccine Induced Diseases. Retrieved March 21, 2014, from U.S Food and Drug Administration (2014, March 14). Thimerosal in Vaccines. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from