10 Major Reasons Why Sometimes Vaccines Don’t Work? Especially in Babies

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Vaccines are essential to maintaining society health, but sometimes vaccines don’t work.

Vaccines are safe and cost-effective as well as used to prevent life-threatening diseases. But sometimes vaccines don’t work in babies due to several reasons.


A vaccine is a biological product that provides an active acquired immunity for a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that follows a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from killed or weakened forms of the microbe.



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Following Are Some Reasons For Why Sometimes Vaccines Don’t Work, Especially In Babies:


1. Immune suppression

A pre-existing disease in pregnancy may be one of the reasons that certain vaccines don’t work on new-born babies. Syphilis, HIV, and neonatal herpes simplex are some of the infectious diseases which can be transferred from an infected mother to her baby. These infections may suppress the baby’s immune system and due to this, the vaccine may not work properly.


2. Premature birth

Those babies who are premature, usually cannot cope with vaccinations properly because they have undeveloped bodies. Undeveloped body organs and the immune system make the vaccination conditions unfavorable to give effective results.


3. Maternal antibodies

The presence of maternal antibodies, inhibit the development of infant humoral response to both dead and live vaccines and it may be the reason why a vaccine may not work properly in babies. The excellent-studied example for inhibition of vaccination by a maternal antibody is measles vaccination in babies.


4. Vaccination Schedule

A vaccine doesn’t work properly if there is variation in the vaccination schedule. The important thing is to take care of optimal protection that is achieved until the series of vaccines or provide a dose at the right time.


5. Time intervals between vaccine doses

There is an importance of proper time interval between vaccines because the vaccine will not work effectively if one live vaccine is administered soon after another vaccine. This is due to the first live vaccine that will neutralize the effect of the second live vaccine. So it is important that minimum time gaps or intervals should be maintained for all vaccines to work effectively.



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6. Route of administration of vaccines

Route of vaccination has an important role. For example, in the case of vaccines containing an adjuvant of hepatitis and pneumococcal it should be administered into the muscle mass otherwise it will not work.


7. Malnutrition and chronic diseases

You know babies with malnutrition may not be able to respond effectively to vaccines. This is because the immunology of malnutrition is associated with impairments of the immune system. Also, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are some chronic diseases which deteriorate a baby’s immunization capacity and health conditions.


8. Nephrotic syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is one of the most common pediatric renal diseases among babies. Most babies do not get protective immunity through antimicrobial prophylactic, vaccination, and antithrombotic therapy in nephrotic syndrome due to their weaker immune system.


9. Sickle cell disease and auto-splenism

Sickle cell disease and auto-splenism also hinder the effect of vaccination. Babies with sickle-cell anemia or auto-splenism are more prone to infectious diseases and due to complications of sickle cell anemia and auto-splenism, the baby’s immune system does not respond to vaccination.


10. An issue with vaccine storage and its administration

Appropriate handling and storage of vaccines along with right administration techniques are necessary to get good results and if these things are not followed properly then vaccines will not work efficiently, which can be one of the reasons for vaccine don’t work especially in babies.



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