Non-specific vaccine effects, with Dr. Christine Stabell Benn

Christine Stabell Benn Sebastian Rushworth non-specific vaccine effects

Christine Stabell Benn is a physician, a professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and a vaccine researcher with almost thirty years of experience in the field. The focus of her research is non-specific vaccine effects, i.e. all those other effects, both positive and negative, that vaccines have on our immune systems and overall health, beyond their very specific ability to protect against one infectious disease.

What she’s found over the course of her research is that the overall effect on mortality varies greatly depending on whether a vaccine is “live” (i.e. contains a weakened but still complete version of the pathogen) or “non-live” (i.e. only contains a small part of the pathogen it’s supposed to protect against).

Live vaccines tend to be associated with a reduction in overall mortality that goes far beyond the protection they offer against the specific pathogen. Non-live vaccines, on the other hand, actually seem to increase overall mortality, so that whatever benefit they provide against a specific pathogen is outweighed by their negative overall health effects. This matters, because there has been a trend over the last few decades to replace live vaccines with non-live vaccines.

Unfortunately, when randomized trials of vaccines are run, they usually only look at the ability to protect against a specific pathogen, and thus fail to answer whether the vaccine provides an overall health benefit or not. Vaccine trials are also usually too short, because non-specific vaccine effects can last for years or in some cases even decades.

In this conversation with Christine Stabell Benn, we discuss the current state of vaccine research, how an optimal childhood vaccination program could be created with relatively small tweaks to the existing system, how parents should think about vaccines for their children, and I also get Christine’s opinion on the covid vaccines and the annual flu vaccines.

You can watch the interview here.

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40 thoughts on “Non-specific vaccine effects, with Dr. Christine Stabell Benn”

  1. Super valuable as always. Thank you!

    Focusing on the childhood vaccinations… Here is the Danish childhood vaccination program:

    I’m a bit surprised that it does not include rotavirus as the swedish programme does. Isn’t this a fairly rough disease for small children? The vast majority of kids catch it at some point. Or am I wrong?

    The danish programme seems to use the five-in-one shot while the swedish use the six-in-one shot and thus the danish exclude the Hep-B vaccine. I guess Hep-B is not very common amongst kids, though? It’s another nasty disease though…

  2. “Live vaccines tend to be associated with a reduction in overall mortality that goes far beyond the protection they offer against the specific pathogen. Non-live vaccines, on the other hand, actually seem to increase overall mortality, so that whatever benefit they provide against a specific pathogen is outweighed by their negative overall health effects. This matters, because there has been a trend over the last few decades to replace live vaccines with non-live vaccines.”

    That bears repeating.

  3. Excellent questioning comment by Sebastian in the video regarding why research does not pay attention to peripheral benefits such as a decrease in all cause mortality as opposed to the usual sole focus on the particular endpoint. (I suppose this would complicate the statistics, but still…)

    And an excellent answer by Professor Benn. She, by the way, also has a Tedx Talk.

  4. Live vaccines stop you from contracting or transmitting the disease. If I understand correctly non live only reduces severity and also does not stop transmission of the disease. I don’t think I have ever heard that before. Explains the influenza and covid vaccines.

  5. I was saddened to see that Google had taken down your video interview on the effects of vaccines. I suggest you post such helpful information on a free-speech site and avoid Big Tech censorship.

  6. Why does this relate to the mRNA and DNA covid jabs? Aren’t they totally different and not really vaccines?

  7. Excellent, the part about comparing live and non-live polio vaccinee and the WHO’s bias says it all.

  8. Here’s a research direction proposal:

    ““Let there be light”: the role of vitamin D in the immune response to vaccines”

    There was this meta-review paper that looked at seropositivity and seroconversion in vitamin D deficient patients and controls when given an influenza vaccine and found that SP and SC weren’t affected.

    Error Mountains:

    The search was dodgy because of incompleteness of search terms.

    Crossover design was required.

    Retrospective studies were excluded.

    Either vitamin D measurement or supplementation were allowed.

    “A random effects model was employed due to the significant (and expected) heterogeneity among the studies+, but the review only included 2367 patients, which is far too few to use a REM. You will never find statistical significance.

  9. This study looks interesting.

    Title: “Vitamin D and the hepatitis B vaccine response: a prospective cohort study and a randomized, placebo-controlled oral vitamin D3 and simulated sunlight supplementation trial in healthy adults”


    In study 1, vaccine response was poorer in persons with low vitamin D status (25(OH)D ≤ 40 vs 41–71 nmol/L mean difference [95% confidence interval] − 15% [− 26, − 3%]; 1,25(OH)2D ≤ 120 vs ≥ 157 pmol/L − 12% [− 24%, − 1%]). Vaccine response was also poorer in winter than summer (− 18% [− 31%, − 3%]), when serum 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D were at seasonal nadirs, and 81% of persons had serum 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L. In study 2, vitamin D supplementation strategies were similarly effective in achieving vitamin D sufficiency from the winter vitamin D nadir in almost all (~ 95%); however, the supplementation beginning 3 days after the initial vaccination did not effect the vaccine response (vitamin D vs placebo 4% [− 21%, 14%])."


    Low vitamin D status at initial vaccination was associated with poorer hepatitis B vaccine response (study 1); however, vitamin D supplementation commencing 3 days after vaccination (study 2) did not influence the vaccination response."

    What?! The study began supplementation 3 days after vaccination? How much did they give? Let's look at the methods.


    Study 1 involved 447 adults. In study 2, 3 days after the initial hepatitis B vaccination, 119 men received either placebo, simulated sunlight (1.3 × standard-erythema dose, 3 × /week for 4 weeks and then 1 × /week for 8 weeks) or oral vitamin D3 (1000 IU/day for 4 weeks and 400 IU/day for 8 weeks). We measured hepatitis B vaccination efficacy as percentage of responders with anti-hepatitis B surface antigen immunoglobulin G ≥ 10 mIU/mL."

    Oh, that explains it. A trivial oral dose of D3 was given late. But even those receiving sunlight were unlikely to benefit because conversion of D3 to 25OHD is dilatory. Another example of how to do a useless study.

    1. Good research find.

      Surprised to see any effect with such a teensy tiny D3 dose (1000 IU). I’d have jacked that up to 50,000/day and thrown in the co-factors: Zn, Mg, B, K2, Ka, Ca, I, and Vitamin A.

      Wouldn’t even need a vax after that.

  10. Some thoughts:

    Very few in the western world died from measles before vaccination started, from 1930 onward.

    Studies show that having childhood deceases seems to strengthen the immune system. Example:

    Mortality in the west is not measurable, a factor.

    1 in 36 children in the US has autism. They are also the most vaccinated. A lot of data points to vaccines as the cause, at least in many cases. We know it’s something in the environment.

    Chronic deceases, cancer are increasing. Can vaccination be a cause?

    Many get polio from the vaccine, and likely Polio-Like Illness as CDC warns about.

    Our immune system is apparently much more intelligent than traditional medicine understand and accept.


  11. I can only say – mind blowing. This is the most insightful discussion I have heard this year. I too learned a lot, though I admit a lot of my own views were confirmed, especially that we have to look at all effects of drugs and vaccines to decide utility. Christine Stabell Benn seems such a charming person too, diplomatic where needed.

  12. Dr. Kendrick has been discussing the glycocalyx and its role in innate immunity. Administering live-but-attenuated vaccines via the route of normal infection seems clever.

    But innate immunity could potentially defeat cold and flu vaccines administered nasally and result in no IgG or IgM production from the vaccines. If seropositivity and seroconversion were insignificant, who would buy the vaccines?

    So pharma _has_ to administer vaccines via intramuscular injections.

    Pharma has thought of all these things, you may be sure.

  13. So if I understand correctly that one of the covid vaccine trial’s placebo group ceased to exist after 4 months – where is the ‘control’ coming from? Will there be no non-specific effects data gathered at all?

    1. Interestingly, if memory serves, in the covid jab trials, the placebo was a meningitis vaccine.

  14. Hi Sebastian!

    I would happily become a small supporter, I how over don’t support the platform that your using, namely Patreon. Is there a other way of becoming a subscriber?


      1. I did all that plus I gave you (and the whole group) the links to Christine’s Ted talks (see above) but all that was NOT sufficient to find out about Christine’s opinion on the annual flu shots:
        Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. says:
        13 February, 2022 at 13:09
        It’s in the longer version of the interview that’s only available to patrons, I’m afraid.

  15. At least part of Dr. Christine Stabell’s research was conducted in African countries with a very different prevalence of infectious diseases. Was her/ her team’s findings confirmed by studies Western countries?

  16. Let’s diverge slightly and discuss a specific side effect of covid vaccines–myocarditis.

    Did Clare Craig just use data from a Nature article about myocarditis from covid to prove that myocarditis in older men who have been vaccinated is at least 1 per 5,000?

    Title: Heart Problems After Covid Are Much Worse for the Vaccinated, Nature Study Shows – But It’s Hidden in the Appendix

    “The risk of myocarditis appears to be an autoimmune (the immune system attacking the heart after interaction with the spike protein) rather than direct damage by the virus/vaccine spike protein. Therefore, myocarditis could result from the virus or the vaccine. The key question that needs answering is whether vaccination protects or enhances the risk from the virus.”

    (Inflamed appendix, so the appendix needs removing.)

    “The 35-58% higher myocarditis rates seen in the vaccinated after Covid compared to the unvaccinated was based only on diagnoses made more than 30 days after their positive Covid test. Any rise in risk in the first 30 day period was censored from the study.”

    An interesting followup study might be to use the same data except for including the first 30 day period.

    In this time of pharma censorship of research, a useful tactic might be to get good data published, putting a dodgy pharma-narrative-supporting conclusion in it. Then get a friend to write a review of your article and submit it to the BMJ for publication so that a proper discussion and conclusion get published.

  17. Considering the increased risk of Myocariditis after mRNA vaccination, I have a question. What is the gold standard for diagnosing myocarditis and pericarditis (post vaccination)? Which diagnostic tools may detect and verify the diagnosis, and which ones may not? Echocardiography and contrast-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) ? (that is Cardiac MRI – us a regular MRI as good?)
    Endomyocardial biopsy (recommendend for patients with heart failure?)
    ECG, coronary angiography, and echocardiography? …
    Ref: “Myocarditis: imaging up to date” Carlo Liguori , 2020, La Radiologia Medica.

  18. Concerning aluminium-adjuvant.
    A 3-month. old child gets these two vaccines in the Danish childhood-vaccine-program:
    Di-Te-Ki-Pol-Hib-vaccinen Pentavac, aluminiumhydroxid (Al3+) 0,30 mg
    Pneumokokvaccinen Prevenar® 13. 0,125 mg aluminium.
    Together 0,425 mg aluminium.
    Breast milch contains 0,04 mg/L aluminium.
    A small baby eats 600 mL breast milch / 24 hours, which makes 0,024 mg aluminium a day.
    The oral uptake of aluminium is ca. 0.1 %.
    That means breast milch is an exposure with 0,000024 mg aluminium a day.
    Compared with the amount of aluminium in the vaccines, which is 0,425 mg aluminium.
    The problem is, that the Danish Autorities among other “vaccine-experts” forget this factor 1000, and assume that the oral intake can be compared with exposition via injection.

  19. Here we are, a month on, and I am still thinking about this. Thank you both. So refreshing after two years of immersion in an ocean of Covid exaggerations, distortions, and lies!

  20. I don’t seek a personal recommendation but has either of you got any general observations to make on the “Pneumococcal vaccine” that the UK NHS offers to people over 65?

  21. Very interesting, thank you! Do you have references to the claim that live vaccines decrease mortality, while non-live vaccines increase mortality? Is there a good written summary with references somewhere?

    Sorry if this was discussed and I missed it, but have live vaccine effects on mortality been compared to mortality effects of having the actual disease without the vaccine?

  22. She said at ca 25 min that the negative effects of non-live vaccines can be counteracted by live vaccines, as if you reprogram the immune system to counteract the previous “bad” programming. That is a very interesting and fundamentally important little comment. It gives hope but is also scary – how programmable is our physiology? How is such programming being used by modern medicine? For good or for bad, for health or for profit? Do we really know what we are doing when we reprogram our system? Short term? Long term? Over generations?

    Notice that if we give non-live vaccines we give a subset of the information of the live vaccines to our immune system, in the hope of providing the same effect (?), but, presumably, with some benefit over the live vaccines. That benefit might be lower production costs and thus higher profit from vaccine sales – is it anything else? But apparently, we do not provide the same health benefits as if we give the body something it can more easily relate to and learn from. It may even give opposite results in the bigger picture. Arrogance and greed might cause problems, unless we are very careful.

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