Due to the threat of global epidemics from emerging viruses, researchers try to rapidly develop new vaccines based on immunological principles, and often focus on subunit proteins. Although such vaccines can theoretically induce acquired immune responses to prevent viral infection, in reality most fail to give the desired protection in clinical practice. There are also reports that invertebrates can be vaccinated to prevent specific viral infections despite that fact that they are not capable of an acquired immune response. This article proposes that induced inhibition of viral receptors may serve as a cell-membrane based, cellular response mechanism for rapid anti-viral protection in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Since this mechanism does not require memory cells that are normally targeted for development of acquired vertebrate immunity, it offers an alternative approach for the development of vaccines in both invertebrates and vertebrates.