As parents, as soon as summer approaches, we are bundled with doctors’ appointments to get all the vaccines done. No doubt, it is a painful and tiring process. All of this does raise a question about what vaccines are and how do they work. Sometimes there are even different rumours spread in the air, let us find out what is real what is just another myth.
So, What Do We Need Vaccines?
Our body has a protective system that protects us against harmful pathogens that can cause an infection. This system is commonly known as the immune system, must have heard of it, right? Well, what this system has done is that it either fights away microorganisms that cause damage to the body, finds them out and keeps them out.
Unfortunately, sometimes our immune system cannot battle against these evil organisms inside our body. They tend to overpower our body, making us fall ill.
This is where we need vaccines as a back up to your immune system.
What Would The Vaccine Do?
The vaccine is going to teach the immune system a lesson. It will let it know how to identify a pathogen and find a way to made it know how to fight it. Pathogens are only going to harm the body because the body doesn’t know how to protect itself. However, with a vaccine, your immune system will be able to identify the pathogen faster and get rid of it. Also, the immune system then remembers the pathogen and keeps you safe from it whenever they detect it in your body.
How Does A Vaccine Work?
Exposure. Your body needs exposure to a disease to be able to fight it. Take it as a foreign invader, then the immune system detects it; it defeats it. What a vaccine does it that it will expose the body to the safe, harmless version of the disease and let the immune system know that in case you ever find this microorganism again, you better kill it, point-blank. Then the immune system remembers the antigen and kills it before it kills you.
Hence, the body is given exposure by the following means:
- Sugar or protein is extracted from the pathogen and injected
- The pathogen has been dead or inactive and then taken
- The toxoid may contain a toxic which was created by the pathogen
- The pathogen in a weakened form
Now, that the body has met all these friendly versions of the disease, it has adapted to the mechanism of fighting it away.
So, now after you have been vaccinated, your body is attacked by a pathogen. Soon, your immune system will be sent an alert signal, and it will prepare and successfully stop the pathogen from developing in your body.
Final Thought- Are Vaccines Necessary?
Definitely. There have been a plethora of diseases in the past that have been fought with vaccines. These include polio, tetanus, measles and whooping cough. Vaccines not only help us as a person but as a whole society.