Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccine Expert Advises: Immunization Should Be Given As Early In Life As Possible

Date:
September 27, 2009
Source:
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Immunologie e.V./German Society for Immunology
Summary:
Parents should not be worried that early vaccination would overwhelm their babies, a vaccine expert says. Recent data show that the immune system of newborns is able to respond to a world full of antigens already at birth. Therefore, vaccines should be given as early in life as possible to minimize the risk of damage by a potentially harmful infection, according to an expert in vaccinology and neonatal immunology.

Parents should not be worried that early vaccination would overwhelm their babies, a vaccine expert says. Recent data show that the immune system of newborns is able to respond to a world full of antigens already at birth. Therefore, vaccines should be given as early in life as possible to minimize the risk of damage by a potentially harmful infection, says Prof. Dr. Claire-Anne Siegrist, Head of the Center for Vaccinology and Neonatal Immunology, University of Geneva, at the 2nd European Congress of Immunology ECI 2009.

Many parents would prefer to postpone the vaccination of their babies until these are older, by fear that their young immune system would be too weak or overwhelmed by the vaccines. In contrast, pediatricians insist that babies should be immunized as rapidly as possible after birth against the most dreadful microbes causing bacterial meningitis or whooping cough. These infections can cause irreversible damage or even kill the children.

During their first three months in life, newborns are protected by antibodies from their mothers’ blood. There is a lack of protection between three months and 24 months, when the immune systeme is fully developed. During this time, the children are extremely susceptible for infections, which indicate the urgent need for an early immunization.

Recent work has demonstrated that the neonatal immune system is indeed well equipped to avoid harmful inflammatory responses while responding very well to specific stimulations such as that provided by immunization. Remarkably, infants vaccinated in presence of maternal antibodies raise excellent cellular immune responses, which are not transmitted from mothers to babies and contribute to protection. “Vaccine antibody responses are weaker in infants than later in life, which represents a challenge that vaccines have to overcome,” says Siegrist. “But these are not limitations but a fine tuning, such that any excessive stimulation may not overwhelm even an immature immune system.”

Immune memory may be elicited already at birth, helping babies to react quickly when they encounter an aggressive microbe after the protection by maternal antibodies is over. Thus, parents need not to worry: Nature has ensured that the neonatal immune system is specifically adapted to respond to a world full of antigens and immunizations may indeed be given as early in life as possible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Immunologie e.V./German Society for Immunology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Immunologie e.V./German Society for Immunology. "Vaccine Expert Advises: Immunization Should Be Given As Early In Life As Possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111532.htm>.
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Immunologie e.V./German Society for Immunology. (2009, September 27). Vaccine Expert Advises: Immunization Should Be Given As Early In Life As Possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111532.htm
Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Immunologie e.V./German Society for Immunology. "Vaccine Expert Advises: Immunization Should Be Given As Early In Life As Possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914111532.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins