Do vaccines affect a child’s microbiome?

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Vaccinations & Children’s Microbiome

Vaccines and microbes both have critically important roles when it comes to our immune systems and microbiome.

Vaccines work by showing the body the shape of a particular virus or bacteria. They essentially gently exercise the immune system and give us protection against some of the deadliest infectious diseases.

Our microbes are also constantly tweaking our immune system. The more diverse and rich our microbiota, the stronger our immunity to certain diseases. And there is some early evidence from both human and monkey studies that suggests vaccines become even more effective when the gut microbiome is healthy and stable.

Besides this connection, there is evidence in mouse trials that vaccines not only decrease inflammation but also that mice vaccinated in early life are less likely to get chronic diseases as they age.

A final positive side effect is that immunizations like pneumococcal or meningitis make the ear infection rate drop a lot. This means kids get fewer antibiotics which means less disruption to their microbiome. Microbiome science is giving us even more reasons why vaccination leads to life-long health.


Photo credit: @CDC on Unsplash

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