Edward Jenner, the “Father of Immunology”, was the first scientist to have discovered the miracle of vaccination. During the 18th century, smallpox disease has spread throughout Europe and infected people from varying age groups. The infection was so serious that the mortality rate at that time was 8% to 20% of the whole European population. Years after the vaccine’s discovery, the smallpox disease was eradicated and new and more potent vaccines were produced to safeguard our health.

Nowadays, vaccinations are so important that even remote countries in the world include them in their constitution. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the world’s leading body in promoting and protecting the health of millions of people from all over the world. It is the organization’s initiative to enforce the stiff implementation on proper vaccination in countries worldwide. With years of unparalleled effort, WHO managed to achieve its mission and showed the world the importance of vaccination in the management of communicable diseases. At present, two infectious diseases, the smallpox and the polio virus, have been annihilated. There has also been a decline in the number of measles cases since its vaccine’s introduction in 1963.

vaccinationsandyourimmunesystem What is vaccination?

By definition, vaccination is the inoculation of an antigen to a host to generate immunity against a specific disease. Being vaccinated means that our susceptibly and vulnerability to a certain diseases has been abate or lessened.

Vaccinations come in different forms and types. The materials used in a vaccine varies, some vaccines have weakened, killed, or inactive pathogens in them while others use processed protein materials derived from bacteria and viruses.

Determining the route of administration will depend on several factors. The most common type of administrating vaccine is through injection. Other milder alternatives are done through inhalation and ingestion, but these routes are rare and available only to certain types of vaccines.

How do vaccines work?

Everyday when we go out to work or school, our bodies silently combat millions of bacteria, viruses and germs that invade our immune system. When these pathogens pass through our natural defenses, the body intelligently produces a substance called an antibody. These antibodies work by decimating the bacteria that are causing harm to the body’s homeostasis.

In some cases, we often times hear of people who never develop a certain disease twice (like that of chickenpox). Again, this medical miracle is rooted from our immune system’s unique healing capabilities. When we encounter viruses or bacteria, the body automatically annihilates these pathogens and remembers them, so when next time the same pathogen invades the body, the antibodies can destroy it before it actually causes any harm.

A vaccine more or less works the same way, but instead of getting it from natural infection the vaccines are otherwise inoculated inside our body to stimulate the antibodies to remember the pathogens. So by the time the real pathogen invades our system, the antibodies will easily identify it and destroy it before it can cause the signs and symptoms of the disease to appear.