Vaccines are notorious for needing repeated doses and the flu vaccine may be the most notorious. There are many reasons for needing repeat doses. The childhood vaccines require a series of injections to stimulate enough response for protection throughout childhood. Even then, the tetanus vaccine wears off years later. Of course, even a natural infection does not always confer lifelong immunity in some cases. For the flu vaccine, we know that the virus changes yearly and thus a different vaccine must be repeated each year. In this research, we also learn that the vaccine does not create a response in the bone marrow sufficient to endure more than one year.
By looking into the bone marrow, where blood cells are made, and separating out the antibodies against a flu infection versus antibodies against the vaccine strain, they determined that the flu vaccine did not produce bone marrow response lasting at a year. For the B cells that produce our antibodies to continue long term, their establishment in the bone marrow is necessary. The bone marrow contains the stem cells which allow us to produce more immune cells and the environment necessary to keep long term antibody producing B cells going for future infections.
Those enrolled in the study allowed the researchers to do bone marrow exams before the flu vaccine, one month after the vaccine, and one year after the vaccine. If you have ever had or seen a bone marrow extraction, you know this was a commitment by the volunteers.
While the number of flu vaccine specific antibodies rose at one month, the number was back to the baseline after one year. This questions how effective the vaccine can be a year later and challenges the researchers to discover means of enhancing the duration of action.
Helping patients live healthier more abundant lives requires informed consent. Informed consent requires education. Education requires functional MD’s like myself taking this time to study and then share what we learn. Take this information and apply it to your health and the health of those under your care.
Carl W. Davis, Katherine J. L. Jackson, Megan M. Mccausland, Jaime Darce, Cathy Chang, Susanne L. Linderman, Chakravarthy Chennareddy, Rebecca Gerkin, Shantoria J. Brown, Jens Wrammert, Aneesh K. Mehta, Wan Cheung Cheung, Scott D. Boyd, Edmund K. Waller, Rafi Ahmed. Influenza vaccine–induced human bone marrow plasma cells decline within a year after vaccination. Science, 2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaz8432
Thanks to Science Daily:
Emory Health Sciences. “Seasonal flu vaccinations don’t ‘stick’ long-term in bone marrow: Contrast to childhood vaccinations.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200813142355.htm>.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.