Posts tagged ‘coronavirus’

How Vaccines Work

Vaccines aren’t so scary

Vaccines make a lot of people nervous to the point where there are entire communities rejecting them and even refusing to give their children basic vaccinations. This type of thinking is very dangerous and the reason why diseases like polio and measles are making a comeback. It’s worth looking at how vaccines work and whether or not there’s any potential harm. For example, can the flu shot really give you the flu? We’ll delve into vaccine science, focusing a bit on flu shots.

Marco Verch (CC 2.0)

How vaccines work

When a disease-inducing organism, known as a pathogen, enters our system, our immune system can fight it off. The immune system produces antibodies—proteins that react to a specific pathogen. Once an antibody recognizes a pathogen, the entire immune system leaps into attack mode and the pathogen is destroyed. The problem is that if it’s a new pathogen—like, say, the flu when you haven’t had a flu shot—it takes time for the body to recognize and defend against it. The immune system has to “learn” about each new pathogen and that takes time. In the meantime, the person in question is probably pretty sick! Vaccines work by containing a deactivated version of the pathogen in question. By injecting it, the immune system gets a chance to learn about it and produce the necessary antibodies. This means that the next time the immune system runs into that particular pathogen, it’ll be ready to strike. In the case of the flu shot, this means killing the flu virus before it gets a chance to make you sick.


December 29, 2020 at 10:31 am 3 comments

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