Researchers examine long-term effects of vitamins, vaccines on children’s immune systems


For a 40-minute documentary broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and produced by Anthony Baxter, reporter Richard Phinney visited a small, long-running public health outpost in Guinea Bissau where a team of Danish and African researchers has studied the long-term effects of vaccines and vitamin supplements on the immune systems of children. The team has published reams of research and influenced WHO policy, but Phinney focuses on what he calls their most “explosive” findings.

They show that the world’s most commonly used vaccines can strengthen – or weaken – a child’s immune system in the long term, and affect their ability to fight off disease. The results directly challenge the WHO’s global health advice, followed by most countries in the developing world, and could mean that thousands of young lives, in Africa and beyond, are needlessly at risk.

Programming note: The program will only be available to download worldwide for a few more days.

Update: The audio is no longer available at the earlier link but it is available, in two parts, on this page. Search the page or scroll down for “Vaccine Detectives.”

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.