Center for Vitamins and Vaccines (CVIVA) aims to document that vaccines and vitamins affect the immune system in a much more general way than previously thought.
Studies conducted in Guinea-Bissau and other low-income countries with high pressure of infections have shown that measles vaccine and BCG reduce the risk of dying, not just from measles and tuberculosis, but also from other infectious diseases.
However, some vaccines may have negative effects on the immune system and vitamins may amplify both positive and negative effects. We have named these effects “non-specific effects”.
The non-specific effects are often different for boys and girls. The findings indicate that vaccines may have much greater impact on child mortality, and unfold a whole new understanding of the immune system; like the brain the immune system is affected by early experiences and transfers these experiences to other challenges. The findings also suggest that we may have to treat boys and girls differently to give them equal opportunities.