Vaccines are the currently used method of mass prevention of infectious diseases. They are subdivided into:
- viral – measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, etc .;
- bacterial – tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, etc.
The meaning of vaccination is that vaccines are introduced into the human body: weakened or killed pathogens of various infections (or artificially synthesized proteins that are identical to the pathogen proteins).
Many vaccinations can be done at the same time. However, there are a number of drugs that are initially a mixture of several vaccines. For example, the TDaP vaccine is implied against whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus.
Some vaccines create immunity the first time, others have to be re-administered. So-called revaccination is an event aimed at maintaining the immunity developed by previous vaccinations. Usually, it is carried out several years after the first vaccination.
Today, special vaccination calendars have been developed. They allow you to protect the person as much as possible from the disease with severe and dangerous infections.
If you are planning a pregnancy or going on a trip to an exotic country, additional vaccinations may be required.
Types of vaccines
All vaccines can be divided into four groups:
- live vaccines. They contain a weakened living microorganism. An example would be polio, measles, mumps, rubella or tuberculosis vaccines.
- inactivated vaccines. They contain either a whole microorganism killed (pertussis, rabies and viral hepatitis A vaccines) or components of the cell wall or other parts of the pathogen (pertussis vaccine and meningococcal infection).
- anatoxins. Vaccines containing an inactivated toxin (poison) that bacteria produce. An example is diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.
- biosynthetic vaccines. Vaccines obtained by genetic engineering. An example is the hepatitis B vaccine.
To protect against each disease, the most optimal vaccine option is selected.
When a vaccine enters the body, the immune system carefully studies it, remembers it and begins to produce special substances for its destruction. Killer substances act selectively, a person develops specific immunity. The vaccine, as it were, “educates” the immune system, preparing it to fight the “full” infection.
Thus, getting into the body, vaccines cause the same rearrangement of the immune system that occurs as a result of a true infection causing the disease. A person does not get sick. After such preparation, the entry of infectious agents into the body causes a quick and powerful counteraction of the immune system and the disease does not develop.
Route of administration
Vaccines are administered in various ways. The traditional route of administration is intramuscular. Vaccines are often given intradermally, subcutaneously. A series of vaccinations is done through the mouth, the nose. Which route of vaccine administration to choose depends on the particular drug.