Vaccination – the currently used method of mass prophylaxis of infectious diseases:
- viral – measles, rubella, mumps, polio, hepatitis B, etc.;
- bacterial – tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, 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 simultaneously. However, there are a number of drugs that initially represent a mixture of several vaccines. For example, TDaP is carried out to fight pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.
Some vaccines create immunity the first time, others have to be re-injected. So-called revaccination is an event aimed at maintaining the immunity developed by previous vaccinations. It usually takes place several years after the first vaccination.
Today, scientific centers have developed special vaccination calendars. Such centers allow physicians to maximally protect a person from the disease caused by 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 virus vaccines. They contain a weakened living microorganism. Examples include polio, measles, mumps, rubella, or tuberculosis vaccines.
- inactivated vaccines. They contain either a killed whole microorganism (vaccines against whooping cough, rabies and viral hepatitis A), or components of the cell wall or other parts of the pathogen (vaccines against whooping cough and meningococcal infection).
- anatoxins. Vaccines containing an inactivated toxin that bacteria produce. An example would be diphtheria and tetanus vaccines.
- biosynthetic vaccines (genetic engineering vaccines). An example is a vaccine against viral hepatitis B.
Mechanism of action
When a vaccine enters the body, the immune system carefully studies it, remembers it and begins to produce special substances for its destruction. Such substances act selectively, the person produces specific immunity. The vaccine “teaches” the immune system, preparing it to combat the infection which may enter the organism.
Thus, entering the body, vaccines cause the same restructuring of the immune system, which occurs as a result of this infection with the disease. The only pleasant exception: the person does not get sick.
After such preparation, the entry of infectious agents into the body causes a quick and powerful reaction to the immune system and the disease does not develop for bringing damage to the health.
Mode of administration
Vaccines are introduced into the body in different ways. The traditional route of administration is intramuscular. Vaccines are often administered intracutaneously, epidermally or subcutaneously. A number of vaccinations is carried out through the mouth and nose. What method of administration of the vaccine to choose depends on the specific drug.
You should not be vaccinated if the patient has:
- serious allergic reactions to previous injections of this vaccine;
- allergy to vaccine components (eg, chicken egg protein);
- fever symptoms;
- severe hypertension, rheumatic diseases.