Why Vaccines Cannot Immunize!

By Philip F. Incao, M.D., Crestone, Colorado © 2009
"Each individual should inform himself or herself: just how widespread is the disease outbreak? How many have become seriously ill or died? Does the outbreak affect all levels of society or mainly those in poor living conditions?
Very often the media exaggerate the extent of such outbreaks. Each individual should freely decide, based on knowledge and not on fear and hearsay, whether he or she or a child would benefit from a vaccination.” Philip F. Incao, M.D

In order to use vaccinations wisely, we need to understand exactly how they work. Until recently, the action of vaccinations was always understood to be simply that they provoke an increase in the blood of antibodies against the bacterial or viral molecules (antigens) in the vaccine, thus preventing infection with the bacterium or virus from which the vaccine antigens were extracted.
In recent years, science has learned that the human immune system is much more complicated than we had thought. Our immune system is composed of two functional arms that work together to reinforce each other or to restrain each other depending on the health of the individual, and on the function that the immune system is carrying out at any particular moment.
One arm is the acquired or humoral immune system (or approximately Th2 function), which primarily produces antibodies in the blood circulation as a sensing or recognizing function of the immune system to foreign antigens entering the body. The other arm is the innate or cellular or cell-mediated immune system (or approximately Th1 function), which primarily destroys, digests and expels unwanted foreign antigens out of the body through the activity of its cells found in the thymus, tonsils, adenoids, spleen, lymph nodes and lymph system throughout the body. This process of destroying, digesting and discharging foreign antigens from the body is known as “the acute inflammatory response” and is often accompanied by the classic signs of inflammation: fever, pain, malaise and discharge of mucus, pus, skin rash or diarrhea.
To understand the immune system, it is helpful to compare it to our digestive system. Both systems process substances, i.e. foods, germs, which consist of foreign living matter entering our body. Our human body, like most biological organisms, does not tolerate foreign life within us, and has evolved our overlapping systems of digestion and immunity to actively process foreign life to either render it compatible with us or to expel it from our body. Eighty percent of our immune system’s cells are found in the lining of our intestinal tract, guarding the border separating the multitude of plant, animal, bacterial and viral substances in our food from our human inner environment. Using a little imagination we can see that, like our digestive system, our immune system digests and eliminates any foreign substances in us which it finds incompatible with our inner environment.
The two functional arms of the immune system may be compared to the two functions in eating: tasting and recognizing the food on the one hand, and digesting the food and eliminating the food waste on the other hand. In the same way, the humoral or Th2 arm of the immune system “tastes” and recognizes and even remembers foreign antigens and the cellular or Th1 arm of the immune system digests and eliminates the foreign antigens from the body. But just as repeated tasting of food will ruin the appetite, so also repeated or prolonged stimulation of the “tasting”" humoral immune system by antigens will inhibit and suppress the digesting and eliminating function of the cellular immune system. In other words, over-stimulating antibody production can suppress the acute inflammatory response of the cellular immune system! [1]
This becomes clearer if we imagine the immune system to be like a see-saw. At one end of the beam is antibody production (Th2), at the other end is the acute inflammatory response of the cellular immune system (Th1). In a healthy person the beam freely swings to the Th1 side when the organism needs to destroy, digest and discharge a particular infection out of the body.
When this has been accomplished, then the beam freely swings back to the Th2 side to produce antibodies, which help to shut down the acute inflammatory response before exhaustion sets in from the intense inner effort required to sustain such a response, so the ill person can begin recuperating. That is why antibodies increase in the blood only after an acute illness, and not in its early stages. A vaccination is like a straitjacket for the immune system because it holds the see-saw permanently (or until it wears off) on the Th2 side in maintaining a certain level of antibodies, which "prevents" the illness because it prevents our own cellular immune system from reacting to the virus or bacterium associated with that particular illness. If the cellular immune system doesn’t react, then there’s no illness!
This explains the polar opposite relationship between acute discharging inflammations on the one hand and allergies and auto-immune inflammations on the other hand. The more a person has of one, the less he or she will have of the other! A growing number of scientists believe that the increase in America, Europe, Australia and Japan in allergic and auto-immune diseases (which usually stem from an over-activity of the humoral or Th2 arm of the immune system) is caused by the lack of stimulation of the cellular or the Th1 arm of the immune system from the lack of acute inflammatory/infectious illnesses in childhood. [2, 3, 4, 5]. We need to identify the factors which cause this shift in the function of the immune system and which cause allergies and auto- immune diseases in childhood to increase!
If we now return to the original question of how vaccinations work, we find what I believe is the key to the puzzle. A vaccination consists of introducing a disease agent or disease antigen into an individual’s body without causing the disease. If the disease agent provoked both arms of the immune system into action it would cause all the symptoms of the disease! The symptoms of a disease are primarily the symptoms (fever, pain, malaise, loss of function) of the acute inflammatory response to the disease. The cellular arm of our immune system makes the acute inflammatory response. So the trick of a vaccination is to stimulate the immune system just enough so that it makes antibodies and remembers the disease antigen but not so much that it provokes an acute inflammatory response by the cellular immune system and makes us sick with the disease we’re trying to prevent! Thus a vaccination works by stimulating antibody production (Th2) and by stimulating very little or not at all the acute inflammatory response of the cellular immune system (Th1). Vaccine antigens are designed to be unprovocative or “indigestible” for the innate, cellular immune system (Th1) and highly stimulating for the acquired, antibody- mediated, humoral immune system (Th2). 

Perhaps it is not difficult to see then why the repeated use of vaccinations would tend to shift the functional balance of the immune system toward the antibody- producing side (Th2) and away from the acute inflammatory discharging side (the cell-mediated side or Th1). This has been confirmed by observation especially in the case of Gulf War Illness: most vaccinations cause a shift in immune function from the Th1 side (acute inflammatory, discharging response) to the Th2 side (chronic auto-immune or allergic response).[6]
The outcome of this line of thought is that, contrary to previous belief, vaccinations do not strengthen or “boost” the whole immune system. Instead vaccinations over stimulate the “tasting and remembering” function of the antibody-mediated arm of the immune system (Th2), which simultaneously suppresses the inflammatory response of the cellular immune system (Th1) thus “preventing” the disease in question. What in reality is prevented is not the disease but the ability of our cellular immune system to manifest, to respond to and to expel the disease!
There is no system of the human being, from mind to muscles to immune system, which gets stronger through avoiding challenges, but only through responding to challenges. The wise use of vaccinations would be to use them selectively, and not on a mass scale. In order for vaccinations to be helpful and not harmful, we must know beforehand in each individual to be vaccinated whether the Th1 function or the Th2 function of the immune system predominates.
In individuals in whom the Th1 function predominates, causing many acute inflammations because the cellular immune system is over-reactive, a vaccination could have a balancing effect on the immune system and be helpful for that individual. In individuals in whom the Th2 function predominates, causing few acute inflammations but rather the tendency to chronic allergic or auto-immune inflammations, a vaccination would cause the Th2 function to predominate even more, aggravating the imbalance of the immune system and harming the health of that individual. Vaccinations have caused a marked increase in allergies, asthma, anaphylaxis and auto-immune diseases in developed nations in the past 50 years, and this trend continues to accelerate in today’s children.
The use of vaccinations in medicine today is essentially a “shotgun” approach that ignores differences among individuals. In such an approach some individuals may be helped and others may be harmed. If medicine is to evolve in a healthy direction, we must learn to understand the particular characteristics of each individual and we must learn how to individualize our treatments to be able to heal each unique human being in our care.
Vaccinations are usually effective in preventing an individual from manifesting a particular illness, but they do not improve the overall strength or health of the individual nor of the immune system. Instead, vaccinations modify the reactivity of the immune system, decreasing acute discharging inflammatory reactions and increasing the tendency to chronic allergic and auto- immune reactions.
Epidemiologic studies [7, 8, 9] have shown that as families improve their living conditions, hygiene, nutrition, literacy and education, the risk of life-threatening acute infectious/ inflammatory diseases very much decreases. Families with poor living conditions, hygiene, nutrition and literacy would generally be most likely to benefit from vaccinations. Families with good living conditions, hygiene, nutrition and education probably would benefit from vaccinations very little or not at all. Individuals with a tendency to allergic or auto-immune diseases are likely to be harmed by vaccinations.
Adverse effects of vaccination are usually allergic or auto-immune inflammatory reactions caused by the shift of the immune system’s reactivity from the Th1 side to the Th2 side. Medicine is just beginning to recognize this.10 Modern medicine has not scientifically measured the risk/benefit ratio of any vaccine.11 Research into the risks of vaccines is very inadequate, according to two comprehensive reports on vaccines by the U.S. Institute of Medicine in 1991 and 1994. This lack of research into the risks of vaccinations continues today.
1. Parish, C.R. "The Relationship Between Humoral and Cell- Mediated Immunity." Transplant. Rev. 13 (1972):3.
2. Ronne, T. "Measles Virus Infection without Rash in Childhood is Related to Disease in Adult Life." The Lancet (1985):1-5.
3. Odent, M.R., Culpin, E.E., Kimmel, T. "Pertussis Vaccination and Asthma: Is There a Link.” The Journal of the American Medical Association 272(1994):588.
4. Cookson, W.O.C.M., and Moffatt, M.F. "Asthma: An Epidemic in the Absence of Infection?” Science 275(1997):41-42.
5. Martinez, F.D. “Role of viral infections in the inception of asthma and allergies during childhood: could they be protective?” Thorax 1994;49: 1189-91.
6. Rook, G.A.W., Zumla, A. "Gulf War Syndrome: Is It Due to a Systemic Shift in Cytokine Balance Towards a Th2 Profile?" The Lancet 349 (1997): 1831-1833.
7. McKeown, T. The Modern Rise of Population. New York: Academic Press, 1976.
8. McKeown, T. The Role Of Medicine: Dream, Mirage, or Nemesis? New Jersey: Princeton University Press 1979.
9. Sagan, L.A. The Health of Nations. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1987.
10. See 6 above.
11. Robin, Eugene, M.D. "Some Hidden Dimensions of the Risk/Benefit Value of Vaccines" from the First International Public Conference on Vaccinations. Alexandria, Virginia September 1997.