Vaccination Facts



  • Vaccination helps to protect you against an infectious disease by exposing you to a mild or dead version of the germ in order to make your body build up protection in the form of antibodies.
  • Vaccination is also called immunization, because it builds up your resistance or immunity to a disease.
  • In passive immunization you are injected with substances such as antibodies which have already been exposed to the germ. This gives instant but short-lived protection.
  • Vaccinations are crucial in many tropical regions where diseases are more widespread.
  • In active immunization you are given a killed or otherwise harmless version of the germ. Your body makes the antibodies itself for long-term protection.
  • Children in many countries arc given a series of vaccinations as they grow up, to protect them against diseases such as polio, diphtheria and tetanus.
  • The measles vaccine carries a 1-in-87,000 chance of causing encephalitis (brain inflammation).
  • In cholera, typhoid, rabies and flu vaccines, the germ in the vaccine is killed to make it harmless.
  • In measles, mumps, polio and rubella vaccines, the germ is live attenuated – this means that its genes or other parts have been altered in order to make it harmless.
  • In diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, the germ’s toxins (poisons) are removed (4) make them harmless.
  • The hepatitis B vaccine can be prepared by genetic engineering.