A vaccine prevents the infection or spread of a specific virus, bacteria, or disease. A vaccine is usually composed of an organism that simulates a pathogen (an invading microbe) and is frequently produced from killed or weakened forms of this microbe, its proteins, or both. Sometimes, a vaccine may be derived from a host and sometimes a host and parasite are involved. The role of the vaccine in a protective regimen is usually associated with childhood vaccines.
Vaccine acceptance and use vary among countries. In the United States, vaccine use varies by state. While some states require parental consent for receipt of personal vaccines in children and certain ages, most allow immunization based on time and age. Most vaccine exemptions occur in children or adolescents, because they are at higher risk for complications when receiving these vaccines.
Immunization is important for the preventative management of diseases like measles, rubella, hepatitis B, and HPV. However, vaccines have been recommended for prevention of several common diseases that are of concern today. Some of these include hepatitis A, pneumococcal pneumonia, and chicken pox. Hepatitis A immunization was released in the late 1970s; pneumococcal pneumonia and chicken pox vaccination were released in the late 1990s.
Unlike in past decades, when immunization was primarily for preventing disease, today’s vaccines are intended to enhance immune system response. When vaccines are given, the body’s immune system fights off the invading microbe or virus by producing antibodies. These antibodies serve as a defense mechanism against that disease, helping to slow or stop the onset of illness. However, when the body cannot produce adequate quantities of antibodies, the individual is not protected from diseases. This is why vaccination is critical for maintaining healthy immune system functions.
Vaccines are grouped into two types: live and inactivated vaccines. Live vaccines can be categorized into two: administering intact vaccines and administering vaccines in the form of capsules or tablets. Intramuscular injection of viruses or their toxins is one of the most commonly used techniques for producing live vaccines. One major reason for this is the fact that it produces a strong immune response within minutes. On the other hand, inactivated vaccines are produced by producing small quantities of inactive substances within the body, which in turn create a delayed immune response.
The US government is mandated to disseminate vaccine information to individuals of all ages. For those who may not be knowledgeable on how vaccines work, there is an ongoing effort through vaccination research and media to educate people about the benefits of vaccines and the risks of not having one. This information is also meant to instill fear of possible complications if vaccines are not administered. In addition, there are many pamphlets, books, videos, and websites that provide detailed information on vaccination. Those who may be interested in receiving vaccine information should consult a physician or a public health professional.