Vaccinations are usually in the form of an injection and contain a killed microbe in order to stimulate the immune system against the microbe, thereby preventing disease. They work by stimulating the immune system, the natural disease-fighting system of the body. The healthy immune system is able to recognize invading bacteria and viruses and produce substances (antibodies) to destroy or disable them.
Immunizations prepare the immune system to ward off a disease. To immunize against viral diseases, the virus used in the vaccine has been weakened or killed. To only immunize against bacterial diseases, it is generally possible to use a small portion of the dead bacteria to stimulate the formation of antibodies against the whole bacteria.
When scientists create vaccines, they consider how the immune system responds to the germ, who needs to be vaccinated against the germ, and the best technology or approach to create the vaccine.
- Live-attenuated vaccines
- Inactivated vaccines
- Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines
- Toxoid vaccines
In addition to the initial immunization process, it has been found that the effectiveness of immunizations can be improved by periodic repeat injections or “boosters.” Talk to your doctor about vaccinations to see if they are right for you.
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- 24 Aug 2018
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