The concept of vaccination actually occurred from the idea to prevent diseases from occurring. Various biologists and physicians after innumerable trials had come out with the solution. It was Edward Jenner in 1796 invented the vaccination of cow pox, a disease vastly common among mammals, later to inoculate humans to provide protection against small pox.  

Going by the term, a vaccine is a biological composition which either improves or builds immunity against a particular disease. Generally a vaccine consists of an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often prepared from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its body waste or its proteins. The agent thus introduced stimulates the body's immune system to identify the agent as foreign and destroy it immediately. Also maintain a record of it, so that the immune can easily identify it as potent threat in future and undertake necessary action in case of future attacks.

 

 

HOW IMMUNIZATIONS WORK

Immunizations teach the body ways on defending itself during attacks of microbes as viruses or bacteria invade it.

  • They expose the body to a very small, very safe amount of viruses or bacteria that have been weakened or killed.
  • Then the immunity system learns to identify and attack the infection if any future incidence of attack occurs
  • Either not become ill or having a milder infection is the outcome. Thus this provides a natural way to deal with infections.

Generally four different types of vaccines are currently available:

  • Live virus vaccines: This form of vaccines uses the weakened (or attenuated) form of the virus. Common examples include vaccination for measles, mumps, and chicken pox and rubella (MMR).
  • Killed (inactivated) vaccines: These vaccines are prepared from a protein or other small pieces taken from a virus or bacteria. Vaccination against Influenza is an example.
  • Toxoid vaccines: Generally consists of a toxin or chemical made by the bacteria or virus. They render the body immune to the harmful effects of the infection. Examples are the vaccination of diphtheria and tetanus.
  • Biosynthetic vaccines: These are the latest form of vaccination, consisting of artificial, man-made substances that resemble pieces of the virus or bacteria. The Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) conjugate vaccine is one example.

 

Immunity is broadly classified into innate immunity and acquired immunity. When a newborn baby is in its mother’s womb and the mother gets infected by some disease and finally gets cured, then the mother and the baby also get immuned against the same disease. This is innate immunity, the one with which the baby is born.

While the immunity which is acquired during lifetime either due to infection by the disease or by vaccination is called acquired immunity.

Vaccination helps in protecting infants, children, and adults against various diseases as tetanus, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, polio and meningitis.

 Though there has been monumental advancement in the field of invention of vaccinations against various diseases, but yet to get something noteworthy against cancer and AIDS. With constant improvement in medical science the expected result is not far away.

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