Types of Vaccination & Its Various Concerns
A new born baby receives antibodies from the mother. This develops the baby’s natural immunization power. With the breast milk, further protections against disease-causing antigens are passed on to the child. These methods are natural ‘immunization’ against many types of diseases caused by harmful microorganisms.
How Is Vaccine Prepared?
Vaccines are prepared biologically and its function is to provide immunity to a particular disease. It contains an agent that resembles a disease caused by microorganisms and are often the killed or weakened form of the toxins, microbe or surface protein. The agents stimulate the immune system of the body which recognizes the agent as a threat and destroys it. The effectiveness of vaccines is widely studied and verified. The administration of the vaccine is called vaccination. It is the most effective method of preventing infectious disease.
The time-tested & proven method of inducing permanent immunity against disease-causing microorganisms is known as vaccination. In simple terms, dead or weakened germs are introduced into the child’s body to create specific ‘antibodies’ of these microorganisms. Vaccinations can be made from bacteria or virus – these make the immune system of a child’s body react as if there was a real occurrence of the disease. This makes the system familiar to the disease-causing microorganism & kills it with ease during later recurrences.
There are several types of vaccine, each well suited to prevent diseases of different kinds. The work of vaccine is that they trigger the body’s defense system which creates antibodies to fight bacteria or disease. The number of bacteria or viruses which your child contains is much weaker than what your child will encounter naturally and are designed to prepare the immune system to defend against the disease.
Over the time, the vaccine that was given may change according to a given disease. For example, the oral polio vaccine was given in the United States to achieve protection from polio infection.
We may classify ‘vaccination’ into four broad categories as described below.
- Attenuated – In this case, living but weakened viruses are used. It contains so simple virus that it contains it contains very few genes. This is because the researchers have controlled the genes. Viruses are often attenuated by growing them in cells as they don’t normally grow in many generations. The virus begins to evolve and adapt to these new cells so that they are less able to live in their preferred environment. Therefore when the attenuated virus enters the body of a human, they are not able to reproduce and create disease like they would naturally. During an infection, natural, viruses need to reproduce thousands of times to cause disease but these viruses produce less than twenty times. Therefore with such little reproduction, the attenuated viruses are not able to create enough copies of themselves to cause the disease. These viruses are a great teaching to the immune system as they teach how to fight off a particular virus as they are the closest to a natural infection. Moreover, these viruses are certainly easy to create for certain viruses.
Disadvantages Of Attenuated Vaccine
Some disadvantages of this vaccine are that it is possible that the weakened virus has the ability to gain control of their natural environment again and gain control. These vaccines cannot be administrated to people with weakened immune system due to cancer, HIV or other immune system depressing disease.
The vaccination for mumps, measles & rubella disease falls under this category.
- Inactivated – The microorganism is killed & introduced into the child’s body in this type of vaccine. Inactivated vaccines are more stable and safer than live vaccines. There is absolutely no chance the bacteria or virus in the vaccine can cause disease. The killed viral particles or bacteria are not able to come back to life. The virus or bacteria is still recognized as an invader by the body even though it does not cause disease, so the immune system stillmakes protective antibodies against it. The vaccine can be given to people with weakened immune systems. These vaccines do not usually need to be refrigerated. They can be stored easily and transported when freeze-dried. This makes them great vaccines to use in developing countries.
Disadvantages And Advantages Of Inactivated Vaccine
Inactivated vaccines often stimulate a much weaker immune response than live vaccines. Therefore, there are typically several doses needed before gaining immunity to a disease. In addition, booster shots are sometimes needed to keep immunity to the disease. Without regular access to healthcare, many people are not aware of boosters or given the opportunity to have the boosters. These people may have a false sense of immunity to these diseases.
Some advantages of inactivated vaccines are that, In general, they are less complicated for your health care provider to handle. Most do not require refrigeration or special shipping requirements. They have a longer shelf life in your physician’s office and are more stable.
- Toxoid – The toxins produced by the bacteria or virus constitute these types of vaccines. For instance tetanus vaccine is a Toxoid vaccine. Toxoid vaccines are vaccines that are made from the toxins from bacteria. There are some bacteria that cause disease by releasing a protein called a toxin. Scientists can inactivate these toxins in the lab using a chemical called formalin and sterilized water, which are completely safe to use in small quantities in the human body. Once the toxin is inactivated, it’s called a toxoid, and it can no longer cause harm. The body learns how to fight off the bacteria’s natural toxin once exposed to the toxoid through producing antibodies that bind into the toxin like keys into a lock.
Examples of toxoid vaccines are Tetanus Vaccine, Diphtheria Vaccine and Pertussis Vaccine
- Conjugate – This type of vaccine is made by the combination of bacteria and proteins. Conjugate vaccines only use a small part of a bacterium linked to a carrier protein. There are some bacteria that are coated with sugar molecules which are called polysaccharides. These sugars, which we call the bacteria’s antigens, are what the body makes antibodies to. They also increase the bacteria’s ability to cause disease. Young children are especially susceptible to getting sick from these types of bacteria. Scientists are able to take part of the sugar coating and use it in the vaccine so that the body creates immunity to the sugar coating. Should the bacteria enter the body, then antibodies will recognize the sugar coating, and keep the bacteria from causing disease.
These conjugate vaccines also have antigens or toxoids, often from the same bacteria, linked to the sugar molecules. Linking the sugar to a stronger protein is another way to ensure complete protection because the immune system has to respond to both the sugar and the protein.
HIV vaccine is an example of conjugate vaccine.
Depending upon the constituent different type of vaccines is used for different treatment.
Some Important Vaccines for Children
There are lots of vaccines available for children which serve as a healing quotient. For instance, polio vaccine is used to eradicate the curse of polio from the young ones. Polio vaccines are used to prevent poliomyelitis.
They are of two types
- One that uses inactivated poliovirus and is given by injections and one that uses weakened and is given by mouth.
- Vaccines for influenza, measles, and mumps are used to strike out the bane of virus-borne diseases.
Except these, there are tons of several other vaccines which are used for various other purposes.
Concerns Related To Vaccines
In this era of the twenty-first century, still, people are afraid of vaccines. Many people still believe that vaccination can cause serious health hazards to their child rather than eradicate the disease. While others are not sure that their child really needs all the vaccine being given. This is not true. Vaccines are well-tested medicines which may cause a slight reaction but not a severe one. All vaccine-preventable disease has declined in countries with successful vaccination programs. When the rate of vaccination is high, the rate of disease is low. But when the rate goes down, disease and related death always go up. The vaccine doesn’t really wear out your child’s your child’s immune system, as our immune system responds to a large number of antigens that are all found around us every day. Vaccines only add a few antigens to these numbers.
Well, through this article various issue related to vaccines, is discussed. Thus, it would be good to get used to the vaccination for providing a better future for your child.