Vaccination destroys herd immunity?

The theory of herd immunity goes something like this:

1. Vaccines produce antibodies, which are like guards that stay resident, ready to catch a particular villain if it tries to enter. This is called immunity;

2. Mass vaccination creates mass immunity, or herd immunity;

3. When the herd is immune, the disease has nowhere to go; it’s refused entry, everywhere; so it doesn’t hang around;

4. This herd immunity protects those who, for whatever reason, can’t be vaccinated.

Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? I don’t subscribe to it myself. But if you’re one of the majority that do, prepare to be disappointed by the study I’m about to discuss.

First, a bit of background. Intravenous immunoglogulin (IVIG) is manfactured from blood donations. It contains antibodies and is used to treat patients with immunodeficiency disorders – that is, those who can’t produce enough antibodies on their own.

But a problem has emerged recently in that the levels of measles antibody in donated blood have been declining over the years, and are now too low to reliably meet the requirements (at least those in the USA) for IVIG.

There’s been speculation within the industry that the decline is due to vaccination. So a peer-reviewed study published just 13 days ago set out to address that question.

In a nutshell, the researchers pooled the donated blood into lots based on donor birth year. They then analysed the mean levels of measles antibody separately for those who, based on their birth year, would have received:

a) no vaccine;
b) a single dose of vaccine (either killed or live vaccine); or
c) two doses of live vaccine.

According to the findings, the unvaccinated cohort were brimming with immunity. They had three times the level of antibodies as the single dose group, and eight times that of the double dose group!

The reason there’s been a slow overall decline is that, as the unvaccinated population ages, it is gradually replaced by a doubly-vaccinated population that has almost no antibody.

Put simply, mass vaccination, rather than creating herd immunity, is destroying it.

So, those who believe in the concept of herd immunity now have something to grapple with. Especially if they believe it can be achieved via vaccination.

Good luck!

17 thoughts on “Vaccination destroys herd immunity?”

  1. Well put, easy for everyone to understand, not rocket science but practical common sense.. even the skeptics can understand this.
    Post on to your local MP and the Prime Minister.

    Jan Brenton

    1. I don’t think the article says the unvaxed had never been exposed to measles. Perhaps they had been exposed to measles and recovered from it naturally. Some of them may not have even been aware that they had contracted measles if it was a very mild case and they had a strong immune system. Or maybe they had inherited immunity from their unvaccinated parents who carried measles antibodies.

    1. Yes there is, Lindy. Unfortunately only the abstract is available at the link. The full text, which has lots of info, is behind a paywall.

      The bit that relates to your question is as follows:

      Data was obtained from two different snapshot studies, done in 2007 by CLS Plasma and in 2015 by BioLife. In 2007, sampling was done for one day in June, through random collection of about 20% of the total amount of US plasma donations from that day. The 3,312 samples were sorted by birth year and separated into 8 cohorts, spanning 4-5 birth years/cohort except for samples from donors born 1938 -1957, which were merged into one cohort. Sample numbers per cohort ranged from 319 (birth years 1938 -1957) to 527 (birth years 1982-1985) and subsequently samples were randomly selected and mixed to create one pool per cohort (cohort pool, number of samples pooled; 1938-1957, n=45; 1958-1962, n=55; 1963-1967, n=80; 1968-1972, n=135; 1973-1977, n=50; 1978-1981, n=60; 1982-1985, n=60; 1986-1989, n=35), resulting in 8 pools. Five aliquots of each pool were tested by neutralization assay for measles virus antibodies. In 2015, 103 samples were collected before measles re-vaccination and single donations were tested by neutralization assay for measles virus antibodies. The data was sorted into 10 cohorts, 8 of which corresponded to the cohorts of the 2007 snapshot study and two additional cohorts from the 2015 study. Data from the birth year cohorts that were not available during the initial study in 2007, i.e. 1990-1993 (n=18) and 1994-1997 (n=41) were included in the overall analysis.


  2. I suspect the author or this blog post has misunderstood the study. This research says nothing about “herd immunity” – it is describing the change in the nature of the donated serum that goes into the blood product called Immunoglobulin – it’s given to people who have been exposed to an infection and don’t have innate immunity.

    What the study found is that people who developed their immunity to measles from infection (prior to vaccination) had higher antibody levels than those who developed their immunity from vaccination. Both groups are immune – so it says nothing about herd immunity.

    1. I don’t think I’ve misunderstood the study, Sue. But there’s something I’d like to understand about your comment.
      You say both groups are immune. How do you know this? And by ‘both groups’ I assume you mean everyone who contributed blood for the study. If not, who/how many? And, most importantly, how do you know?

      1. Well it’s now been more than a week and we haven’t heard back from Sue Ieraci. I’m curious why she thinks that everyone in the study was immune. All we know is that the twice-vaccinated group ended up with *much* lower antibody levels.

        Sue is a doctor. She’s also a very outspoken supporter of vaccination.

        So, Sue, if you can come up with an explanation for your comment, I’d love to hear it. Until then, it looks like the misunderstanding was yours.

    2. I have never thought of it like that – immunisation = immunity. I think the study illustrates the opposite.

    1. Yes Johnathan. That’s the point. Thanks.

      Mind you, I don’t hold to the theory that says antibodies are a measure of immunity. But that’s the prevailing view, so I was wondering how those who promote it feel about this study. I mean, their cherished indicator of immunity has gone south, and they blame vaccination.

      Think about it. If the mean community levels we had in the pre-vaccine era weren’t sufficient to prevent outbreaks (which was apparently the reason we introduced a vaccine) what makes anyone think that EIGHT TIMES LESS will do the trick?

      And about Sue… what can I say. I think she thought she had a point to make about the numbers still being higher than the level thought to be needed for protection. (But I don’t know. I was waiting for her to clarify just what she was thinking.)

      I think what she failed to grasp is that the numbers quoted in the study were MEAN antibody levels — not individual levels. Individuals will be scattered around that mean, from way lower to way higher. When you lower the mean, you take the whole group and lower it. And according to the study it’s been lowered SUBSTANTIALLY. In fact, the mean itself is peeping below the level required by regulation.

      So today many more individuals will be falling below that magical threshold at which they’re declared ‘immune’. And that can only mean one thing for the theory of herd immunity. I’m wondering how its supporters take that?

  3. well delivered point! I will definitely use it in my conversations with pro vaxxers πŸ˜‰ Greetings from Poland! πŸ™‚

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