Since vaccines came into existence, some people have thought that they treat or cure diseases. However, that is not their function. The production of vaccines prevents diseases; the vaccine design is not to treat illness when you have caught it.
Germs (or microbes) are everywhere and are all around us in our bodies and our environment. Being vulnerable to these microbes can result in disease and death. But the body has a way of defending itself from disease-causing organisms. From the skin to the cilia, they all work together to prevent pathogens from getting into the body. When a pathogen invades the body, the immune system is triggered to attack and destroy the pathogen.
Vaccines are a type of medicine that trains the body’s immune system to fight a specific disease it hasn’t had contact with before. Vaccines help to protect entire populations rather than working on an individual level.
Vaccines help to protect populations. Once the majority of people are vaccinated, the chances for an outbreak in the community will be low. Even the people that are not vaccinated will benefit as well.
Bacteria and viruses are the prominent causes of an epidemic, and so, basically, they won’t have adequate hosts to multiply excessively and will at last entirely die out.
This complete die-out phenomenon of bacteria and viruses is known as “community immunity” or “herd immunity”; since there’s the total elimination of once-devastating diseases without necessitating every individual to be vaccinated.
Read on to understand how vaccines work and why every individual needs them.
How do vaccines work?
Before you know how vaccines work, it’s good to look at how the immune system works since vaccines tackle the natural activity of the immune system.
When germs like bacteria or viruses intrude on the body, they attack the immune system and multiply. Infection via intrusion is what causes disease.
Since the body can fight germs, the body’s immune system then uses white blood cells to do so. These white blood cells are primarily made up of macrophages, B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. They all have their specific functions in fighting against pathogens.
Now that we understand how the immune system works, we need to know how vaccines work. Vaccines help to protect against certain diseases by mimicking the infection. In this way, the immune system is taught how to fight off an upcoming infection.
Occasionally, vaccines can cause minor symptoms (e.g. fever) after being taken. The symptom occurs when the body tries to build immunity, so symptoms like this are bound to happen.
Why do we need vaccines?
Not only does vaccination protect those who have received it, but it also decreases the risk of being exposed to infection. In addition, it indirectly protects the unvaccinated people in a community (known as “community immunity” or “herd immunity”), including people with weakened immune systems and children who are too young to be vaccinated.
If you or your loved ones have any health issue that concerns you, why don’t you hop on a call to speak with a doctor and explain your feelings? They are ready to help you with any health concerns you may have.