Vaccine-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (VAIDS) is a new colloquial term coined by researchers and health practitioners since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Although VAIDS isn't recognized as a medical condition, some experts believe that the COVID-19 vaccines may impair or suppress immune responses.
While the new study, published in Frontiers in Immunology, doesn't use the term VAIDS, the researchers recognized "a general decrease in cytokine and chemokine responses" to bacteria, fungi, and non-COVID viruses in children after COVID-19 vaccination.
"Our findings suggest SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination could alter the immune response to other pathogens, which cause both vaccine-preventable and non-vaccine-preventable diseases," the study authors wrote.
"This is particularly relevant in children as they: have extensive exposure to microbes at daycare, school, and social occasions; are often encountering these microbes for the first time; and receive multiple vaccines as part of routine childhood vaccination schedules."
The researchers from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, took blood samples from 29 children, both before vaccination and after two Pfizer mRNA doses.
They found that blood samples post-vaccination had a lower cytokine response to non-COVID pathogens compared with the blood taken before vaccination. This reduced immune response was particularly persistent for non-COVID viruses. Blood samples taken at six months showed some children still had low responses for hepatitis B virus proteins and proteins that mimic a viral infection; however, cytokine responses had increased for bacterial exposures.
Immune responses to COVID-19 proteins—including spike proteins and their S1 and S2 subunits—and nucleocapsid proteins remained high after vaccination.
The study findings suggest "that repeat mRNA vaccine injections could predispose children to both viral and bacterial infections," Dr. Andrew Bostom, a cardiovascular research expert and retired professor of medicine at Brown University, told The Epoch Times in an email.
However, the study arrived at this conclusion by measuring cytokine levels, which is only a surrogate marker for a person's immune response, he said.
Challenging the Study DesignMarc Veldhoen, an immunologist specializing in T-cell responses and the head of a laboratory at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Portugal, challenged the study's findings.
In a thread on X, he highlighted flaws in the study, including the lack of controls—meaning children who weren't vaccinated—to compare against the subject group on their innate immune responses to other pathogens.
Other Studies Suggest Reduced Immunity After VaccinationThe study is one of many that have suggested a declined immune response after COVID-19 vaccination.
Boosted individuals have increased IgG subclass 4 (IgG4) antibodies, which are less effective than other subtypes of IgG antibodies.
The innate immune response serves as the first line of defense, while the adaptive—responsible for immunological memory—is the final line of defense.
"Whether multiple pre-exposures lead to an even more drastic inhibition of the adaptive immune responses and how much overlap there is between mouse and human data remains to be determined."
Pfizer didn't respond to a request for comment by press time.