scientists dont know how vaccines work Researchers developing an AIDS vaccine have admitted that they dont know how vaccines work. They claim that a misconception of how they work is hindering the quest for the new vaccine, and that no one has bothered to find out how vaccines like polio, measles, and hepatitis B actually protect people from disease.
"Im amazed by the amount of basic science we dont know", said Philippe Kourilsky, director of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, "Weve had many successful vaccines over the past decades but weve missed a chance to see how these vaccines work." The assumption that vaccines work by simply producing antibodies is wrong.
Ron Montelaro of the University of Pittsburgh has been studying a HIVrelated virus in horses, known as Equine Infectious Anaemia Virus, and has found that the vaccinated horses die quicker than the unvaccinated horses. Montelaro has suggested that. the stimulation of antibodies may actually help pull virus particles into the cells they are trying to protect.
"Its an issue people havent wanted to think about, but we might have to."
Source: New Scientist. 27 May 2000.