Understanding the Working Mechanism of Vaccines

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Vaccines are essential in protecting people against dangerous and deadly diseases. Vaccines are designed to work together with the natural defense system of your body to prevent or reduce the risk of infections by enhancing the body’s immunity. Visit the best Tweed medical centre where you can get vaccinated against various infections. Here are some useful insights on how vaccines work in terms of enhancing the body’s immunity to fight against deadly infection.

The Body’s Defense Mechanism and the Immune System

Before we examine how vaccines fight against infection let us first look at the body’s defense mechanism. When germs including viruses and bacteria enter the body, they attack the cells and multiply. The invasion is what is normally called infection and is what causes illness. Before you even visit the best Tweed medical centre your body will be already fighting the infection. This is usually the work of white blood cells. The white blood cells have three parts that help to fight the infections, they include:

Macrophage

These are the white blood cells that ingest germs together with dead and dying cells. After ingestion, they leave the antigens which are the leftovers of the germs. The antigens are considered foreign and dangerous and are attacked by antibodies.

B-Lymphocytes

These are also known as defensive cells. They are responsible for producing the antibodies that fight the antigen which could not be ingested by the macrophage.

T-Lymphocytes

The T-lymphocytes are similar to B-lymphocytes in that both of them are defensive white blood cells. They are responsible for attacking those cells in the body that are infected.

Once the body is attacked by germs it may take it some days for it to use its germ-fighting mechanism and tools. After fighting the infection, the immune system retains all the information about how to protect your body against the same disease. When the same infection attacks the body again, the body will deploy a few of the T-lymphocytes which are also memory cells that were used to fight the infection the first time. The B-lymphocytes will then produce the necessary antibodies that will be used to fight the antigens of the infection.

Working Mechanism of Vaccines

Vaccines help to enhance the body’s immune system by coping with the infection. However, this is a different type of infection that doesn’t result in illness. The infection is only meant to prepare the immune system by producing essential T-lymphocytes and necessary antibodies. You may also develop minor symptoms after being vaccinated due to the imitated infection. Such minor symptoms are not as harmful and should be expected as the body continues to enhance its immunity.

Once the copied infection is over, your body will be left with enough supply of memory cells including the B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes which will be best prepared the next time the same germs invade your body.

It is important to remember that it may take the body a few weeks after the vaccination to produce B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. If you are infected with the disease during this time or before you are likely to get the disease and develop symptoms. This is mainly because the vaccine didn’t have adequate time to provide the needed protection.

Main Types of Vaccine

There are many approaches that the scientist takes to come up with the vaccine. The approaches also depend on many factors such as the information regarding the infection which can be caused by either virus or bacteria. How the immune system responds to the infection and other practical considerations such as the risk of exposure and temperature which may vary across the globe among other factors. There are five different types of vaccines and they include:

Attenuated Vaccines

These are the types of vaccines that consist of the live version of the virus or bacteria that have been weakened to prevent it from causing serious harm to the vaccinated individual. Such vaccines are the best teachers of the immune system since they are like natural infection only that they have been weakened. Examples of live attenuated vaccines are measles, varicella or chickenpox and mumps, and rubella vaccines.

Inactivated Vaccines

Inactivated vaccines are also effective in fighting infections. The vaccines are produced by killing the germ or virus or by rendering it inactive. The best example is the polio vaccine. They produce a different response from the immune system compared to the live attenuated vaccines. People usually require multiple doses to build up the required immunity.

Subunit Vaccines

Subunit vaccines are produced using only part or subunit of the germ or virus rather than the whole germ or virus. The vaccines only contain the essential antigens and therefore the side effects are very rare unlike other types of vaccines. Examples include the Pertussis or whooping cough. Other types of vaccines include:

  • Conjugated vaccines
  • Toxoid vaccines