Vaccination is seen as a cure for many deadly diseases. In modern age, vaccination has saved millions from death and disabilities due to diseases. Although vaccination has being around for centuries, its technology and science has grown by leaps and bounds since the 19th century. Vaccination for diseases is available throughout the world and must be taken at the right time and age to prevent many common and deadly diseases.
What is vaccination:
Vaccination refers to stimulation of the immune system using externally induced antigenic agents or antibodies. Vaccination trains the immune system to realize threat to the body due to a pathogen like viruses or bacteria. Vaccines often are similar in nature or derived from the very pathogens they are supposed to fight. Vaccines may contain toxins, proteins, dead or weak forms of the microbes that they help fight.
How vaccination works:
Once weak forms of the microbe or toxins or proteins produced by the microbes are introduced into the body, the immune system understands the threat and generates a counter action. It remembers this counter action and when the actual infection occurs, it easily manages to reproduce the counter action that it had taken previously. Thus, it learns and remembers the necessary immune response that is a must to counter diseases.
Vaccinations are available for diseases such as small pox, influenza, hepatitis, polio, plague, rabies, yellow fever etc. They are often classified by the method used for its production. They are as follows:
Killed Organisms: These are obtained by killing the microorganisms that are a threat to the body. The vaccine is the byproduct that is available after killing the microorganisms using chemical, radioactive or other antibiotic treatments.
Attenuated Organisms: These are obtained from similar microorganisms or viruses or bacteria whose virulent properties are reduced or modified.
Toxoids: These are obtained from the inactivated toxins produced by the microorganism. Examples include tetanus and diphtheria vaccine.
Other types: New vaccination ideas include recombinant, dendritic, DNA, T-cell receptor and synthetic vaccines.
Vaccination process: Vaccination can be administered intravenously such as using injections. Other methods of delivery are through ingestible drops or tablets, nasally or transdermally through the skin. In certain cases, the vaccination might have to be repeated. In such cases, a proper vaccination schedule must be followed. Vaccination can also be used in medical emergencies such as outbreaks of epidemics like bubonic plague or after injury in case of tetanus vaccine.
Vaccination thus is an important way of preventing common diseases. Do talk your doctor about when you should go in for a particular vaccination.