The immune system of our body works as a bastion from innumerable kinds of germs. Briefly summarizing, when a germ invades into the body, the immune system sends special cells to fight it off. However, it is apocryphal to say that it works for every single germ. There might be some germs that cannot be prevented by our natural immune system. Thus, scientists came up with unprecedented, laudable idea, and that idea was a vaccine.
Vaccines are substances that prepare the immune system to fight a disease-causing germ or other pathogens by imitating an infection. Vaccines deter the diseases by tricking the immune system to make a “memory” of that germ without ever having to fight the real germ in the first place. Thus, conspicuously, if the virus comes, the immune system is ready to attack it. Therefore, rather than being languished, people can overcome the diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria easily through a vaccine.
Before the vaccine was invented, it was incoherent and futile to overcome several illnesses such as measles, polio, smallpox, and diphtheria. However, due to extreme scrutiny regarding the bacteria and fervor to invent the medicine, scientists developed a vaccine that protected the people who didn’t suffer from the disease yet. Infamous diseases that killed millions of people were relegated due to the inventions of vaccines, and scientists figured out that vaccinations also can help protect people who are not vaccinated.
It is an objective fact that vaccine is good. However, the way it works is esoteric. It is important to know how it works in order to understand it thoroughly.
It is a hackneyed fact that the body is designed to fight off foreign invaders, such as germs. Nonetheless, in order to do this, it needs to be able to distinguish elements of itself from that of outside agents. So, the immune system is always on the lookout for evidence of foreign stuff or antigens. Pathogens are covered with small particles, and they look unfamiliar to the human body, so immune system calls out its antigen attack squads. But antigens are specific and only stick to a particular germ.
When a pathogen enters the body, the immune system immediately dispatches antibodies. When the antibodies find the particular antigens, they either disarm the threat by locking onto the antigens or send the signals to adjacent immune cells to come to the site of the infection. After an infection goes away, the immune system memorizes the features of the pathogen’s antigens in B cells. So if the same germ enters the body again, existing antibodies can recognize it immediately and annihilate those germs before it multiplies. This process in our body is called immunity.
One way to amass immunity is through infection. However, it is too risky to have an infection to have immunity since severe infections can kill the person. Therefore, people use injections that contain a weakened form of a disease-causing germ. The vaccine won’t cause severe disease because the weakened germ is ephemeral and can no longer copy itself to release new germs inside the body. But they provide the opportunity for antibodies to get used to the specific types of pathogens.
Even though some dangers still exist with hedonistic diseases such as influenza viruses, scientists are working to enhance new effective vaccines. It is uncertain to say that vaccine can prevent all the diseases, but it can surely save lives from series infections.