How Does Vaccination Work
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to help fight off infection from harmful bacteria or viruses. When a disease-causing agent, such as virus or bacteria, invades your body, your immune system recognises it as harmful and will trigger a response to destroy it.
One of the ways your immune system fights off infection is by creating large proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies act as scouts, hunting down the infectious agent, and marking it for destruction by the immune system. Each antibody is specific to the bacteria or virus that it has detected and will trigger a specific immune response. These specific antibodies will remain in the immune system after the infection has gone. This means that if the same disease is encountered again, your immune system has a memory of the disease and is ready to quickly destroy it before you get sick and any symptoms can develop.
If These Diseases Are So Rare Why Does My Child Need To Be Vaccinated
All of the diseases that we vaccinate against exist in the world today. Therefore, if your child has not been vaccinated, there is still a risk that they could get the disease and become very sick. We know that decreases in vaccination uptake can result in outbreaks of diseases such as measles.5 Regular vaccination is needed to keep our children healthy, prevent outbreaks from occurring and to eventually eradicate these diseases altogether. Infectious diseases are easily passed from person to person and entire communities can rapidly become infected. If a high enough proportion of a community is protected by vaccination, it makes it difficult for the disease to spread because the number of people who can be infected is so small.
Your immune system is there to protect you by vaccinating your child, you give his/her immune system all the tools it needs to keep them safe from many severe diseases – Meike Heurich-Sevcenco, BSI Vaccine Champion
This type of protection is known as herd immunity and is particularly crucial for some individuals who are unable to receive some vaccines. This may include those that are too young, undergoing certain medical treatment or have a health condition that impairs the function of their immune system . Declines in herd immunity caused by decreasing vaccination rates have recently caused outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in the UK.6,7
Are There Any Harmful Ingredients In Vaccines
There are extra ingredients in vaccines, aside from the main active ingredient. The names of some of these ingredients can be the source of alarm and confusion for people. Heres information about the other ingredients that go into vaccines, why theyre used, and what you need to know about their safety.
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Ongoing Blockades In Canada
For two weeks, Canada has faced continued protests and blockades at major border crossings and in cities across the country, acts that have elicited support from major figures in the U.S. and inspired similar demonstrations around the world such as in France, Australia and New Zealand.
In Canada, hundreds of people gathered in Fredericton on Friday for a convoy-style protest against pandemic restrictions.
The move comes after the province pledged to ban the blocking of normal traffic flows on roads and highways, as well as the supplying of fuel or supplies to those attempting to do so.
The Nova Scotia legislature closed Friday to visitors, in part due to ongoing protests in Ottawa and other provincial capitals.
In Manitoba, demonstrators set up a blockade Thursday at the border crossing near Emerson, Man.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Friday that about 50 semi-trucks, farm equipment and passenger vehicles continue to block access to the border. No arrests or tickets have been issued as of yet.
Protesters also took to the streets in Steinbach, Man., a community southeast of Winnipeg, a day after demonstrators, including some students, rallied outside of a local high school, forcing it into a hold-and-secure protocol.
Earlier this week, the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments announced plans to wind down their respective vaccine mandates and masking rules.
Are Vaccines Alive Or Dead
Vaccines fall into three major types:
Live vaccines are made of living viruses or bacteria that are weaker than the normal germs that cause infections. They make a strong immune response because theyre similar to normal germs, but they dont cause infection because theyre weakened.
Dead vaccines are made with either killed viruses or bacteria or small parts of them. When used in a vaccine, these dead pieces of germs teach your immune system to defend the body against the living version of the germs.
Unlike the other two types, mRNA vaccines are neither live nor dead. They use new technology to deliver genetic instructions to the body for how to build its defense to a given germ.
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How Hiv Hampers Vaccine Development
From the most fundamental standpoint, efforts to develop an HIV vaccine have been hampered by the genetic diversity of the virus itself. The replication cycle of HIV is not only fast but is prone to frequent errors, churning out mutated copies of itself that recombine into new strains as the virus is passed from person to person. Developing a single vaccine able to eradicate over 60 dominant strains as well as the multitude of recombinant strainsand on a global levelbecomes all the more challenging when conventional vaccines can only protect against a limited number of viral strains.
Secondly, fighting HIV demands a robust response from the immune system, and this again is where systems fail. Traditionally, specialized white blood cells called CD4 T-cells initiate the response by signaling killer cells to the site of the infection. Ironically, these are the very cells that HIV targets for infection. By doing so, HIV hobbles the bodys ability to defend itself as the CD4 population is systematically depleted, resulting in the eventual breakdown of defenses called immune exhaustion.
Finally, the eradication of HIV is thwarted by the virus ability to hide from the bodys immune defenses. Soon after infection, while other HIV is circulating freely in the bloodstream, a subset of virus embeds itself in hidden cellular sanctuaries . Once inside these cells, HIV is shielded from detection.
Is Mrna Technology Safe
Although this is the first time mRNA technology has successfully been used in a vaccine, it has been in development for over a decade, with many studies and trials taking place over the past few years.
MRNA vaccines present the body with a set of instructions to help it trigger creation of the antibodies to fight coronavirus. It cannot change the DNA of a human cell.
According to Jonas Nilsen, MD and co-founder of Practio “although this is the first time mRNA vaccines have been approved for use in the UK, mRNA technology has been studied and developed for decades. The development of an mRNA vaccine is a breakthrough that could result in vaccines being developed more quickly in the future.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people, and have been proven to be both highly effective and safe.”
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How Long Does It Take For A Vaccine To Work
When we receive a vaccine, our immune system gets to work immediately to create antibodies and memory cells to fight the infection. On average, an immune response will take around 7-21 days.
However, the duration of immunity can depend on a number of factors, such as the nature of vaccine, the timing of dosages, our age, and whether we have had an infection naturally.
To be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, make sure to stick to the recommended schedules and keep your immunisations up to date.
The Body’s Natural Response
A pathogen is a bacterium, virus, parasite or fungus that can cause disease within the body. Each pathogen is made up of several subparts, usually unique to that specific pathogen and the disease it causes. The subpart of a pathogen that causes the formation of antibodies is called an antigen. The antibodies produced in response to the pathogens antigen are an important part of the immune system. You can consider antibodies as the soldiers in your bodys defense system. Each antibody, or soldier, in our system is trained to recognize one specific antigen. We have thousands of different antibodies in our bodies. When the human body is exposed to an antigen for the first time, it takes time for the immune system to respond and produce antibodies specific to that antigen.
In the meantime, the person is susceptible to becoming ill.
This means that if the person is exposed to the dangerous pathogen in the future, their immune system will be able to respond immediately, protecting against disease.
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How Are Vaccines Made
A vaccine is made by first generating the antigen that will induce a desired immune response. The antigen can take various forms, such as an inactivated virus or bacterium, an isolated subunit of the infectious agent, or a recombinant protein made from the agent. The antigen is then isolated and purified, and substances are added to it to enhance activity and ensure stable shelf life. The final vaccine is manufactured in large quantities and packaged for widespread distribution. Learn more about mRNA vaccine creation.
Harnessing Rna Vaccines For Health What Are The Challenges And Key Considerations
- Research and clinical trials: further research is needed to address technical hurdles such as vaccine stability and delivery. It is not yet certain which production method are currently the best. Clinical trial data is limited more long-term studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of RNA vaccines.
- Production: vaccine production is currently small scale and it is not clear if current methods are capable of epidemic-level vaccine production.
- Resources: the personalised approach for cancer vaccines is time and resource intensive and work is needed to determine if this approach is cost-effective.
- Safety: better understanding of vaccine adverse effects is needed these can include inflammation or autoimmune reactions.
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What Experts Say About Young Kids And Vaccine Safety
Dr. Matthew Harris is the medical director for Northwell Health’s vaccine program, and a pediatric emergency doctor at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens, New York. He’s also the father of two 7-year-old twins and a 4-month old.
As such, he says, the most common question he gets is: Are you going to give this vaccine to your kids?
“And I can very clearly say to them, yes,” Harris says. “My school-aged kids are already fully vaccinated, and my infant who will be eligible in about a month and a half will certainly be vaccinated.”
Harris doesn’t blame parents for asking the question, saying “it’s appropriate to have a healthy sense of skepticism” when making decisions for your children. For him, the data from the tens of millions of doses already handed out to older children and young adolescents show the vaccines’ robust safety profiles, and a proven amount of protection against Covid.
Some parents are concerned about potential long-term vaccine side effects popping up years, or even decades, later. But Dr. Mark Sawyer, an infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital who served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee that approved Covid vaccines in 2020, says the odds are practically nonexistent.
“It hasn’t happened, ever,” Sawyer says, noting the long history of vaccines in the U.S. “So why would this vaccine suddenly be different?”
When Were Vaccines Developed
Vaccines are not new immunisation techniques were pioneered over 200 years ago, when smallpox was a feared and deadly disease. An eighteenth-century doctor named Edward Jenner noted that workers on farms who contracted the mild cowpox disease were immune to smallpox. Jenner guessed that the germ responsible for cowpox was similar enough to the smallpox germ to train the immune system to defeat both diseases. He was correct. Immunisation in Australia today relies on similar principles.
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Growing The Active Ingredients
Human Cell Lines
For some vaccines, the active ingredient is grown in laboratories on cultures that contain human cells. Some viruses, such as chickenpox , grow much better in human cells. After they are grown, the viruses are purified several times to remove the cell culture material. This makes it unlikely that any human material remains in the final vaccine.
For vaccines used in the UK, human cell lines are used to grow viruses for these vaccines:
- the rubella part of both MMR vaccines
- both chickenpox vaccines
The cell lines currently used were started in the 1960s using lung cells taken from two aborted foetuses. The abortions were legal and agreed to by the mothers, but they were not performed for the purpose of vaccine development.
Some people may have moral concerns about using a vaccine produced in this way. In 2005 the Vaticans Pontifical Academy for Life issued a statement called Moral reflections on vaccines prepared from cells derived from aborted human foetuses. This statement says that they believe it is wrong to make vaccines using human cell strains derived from foetuses, and that there is a moral duty to continue to fight against the use of such vaccines and to campaign for alternatives. However, it also states that if the population is exposed to considerable dangers to their health through diseases such as rubella , then vaccines with moral problems pertaining to them may also be used on a temporary basis.
HEK-293 cell line
Animal Cell Lines
Can Getting So Many Vaccines At One Time Harm My Baby
Babies have stronger immune systems than you might think, and they can handle far more germs than what they receive from vaccines. In fact, the amount of germs in vaccines is just a small percentage of the germs babies’ immune systems deal with every day.
Sometimes, kids can have a reaction to a vaccine like a mild fever or rash. But the risk of serious reactions is small compared with the health risks associated with the often-serious diseases they prevent, and do not happen because the baby got several vaccines at once.
A lot of consideration and research went into creating the immunization schedule most doctors use, and it has been proven safe time and time again. Still, some parents choose to use alternative schedules because they’re concerned about the number of shots their babies get at each checkup. This is actually more likely to make a baby sick. Studies show that many babies on alternative immunization schedules never get all the vaccines they need.
Plus, alternative schedules can be a real hassle. Spacing out vaccines over more doctor visits means that you’ll have to take your child to the doctor and your child will have to get a shot more often.
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How Do Vaccines Help Our Immunity
Our immune system is like a library it stores information about every germ ever defeated. We sometimes call this immunological memory.Some antibodies remain on patrol in our bloodstream. So if we ever encounter the real germ in the future, our immune system can quickly trigger the memory cells and produce antibodies to defeat it. And this often occurs before we experience any symptoms of illness. Each vaccine is designed according to how the specific germs make us sick. For example, measles is the result of the bodys reaction to the whole virus and so the vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus. On the other hand, tetanus is caused by the bodys reaction to the toxin produced by the tetanus bacteria and so the vaccine contains inactivated tetanus toxin.
Ingredients Are Used During The Production Of Vaccines
Some ingredients that are needed to produce the vaccine are no longer needed for the vaccine to work in a person.
These ingredients are taken out after production so only tiny amounts are left in the final product. The very small amounts of these ingredients that remain in the final product arent harmful.
Examples of ingredients used in some vaccines include:
- Cell culture material , like eggs, to help grow the vaccine antigens.
- Inactivating ingredients , like formaldehyde, to weaken or kill viruses, bacteria, or toxins in the vaccine.
- Antibiotics , like neomycin, to help keep outside germs and bacteria from growing in the vaccine.
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Vaccines And Your Immune System
Vaccines give you immunity to a disease without you getting sick first. They are made using killed or weakened versions of the disease-causing germ or parts of the germ . For some vaccines, genetic engineering is used to make the antigens used in the vaccine. Its much safer to get a vaccine than to get the disease it prevents.
When you get a vaccine, your immune system responds to the vaccine the same way it would to the real germ. It:
- Recognizes the germ in the vaccine as being foreign.
- Responds by making antibodies to the germ in the vaccine, just as it would for the real germ.
- Remembers the germ and how to destroy it. That way, if you are ever exposed to the disease-causing germ in the future, your immune system will be able to quickly destroy it before it has a chance to make you sick. This is how you get immunity from vaccines.