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Vaccines protect you from getting diseases or contracting infections. 

It is estimated that each year, vaccines save up to 5 million lives. No doubt, they are the greatest success story of modern medicine.

Usually, a vaccine is given as an injection. But there are other ways too. Once inside your body, the vaccine teaches your immune system to attack the germs it has been designed to protect you from.

You might have mild side effects of this process but importantly, your body makes antibodies and other cells that remember these germs. This gives your immune system tools it didn’t have before to keep you safe from this germ if it enters your body in the future.

There are various types of vaccines - some contain weakened or dead germs, and while some others contain genetic material like RNA. Let's talk about these in detail now.

  1. Live attenuated vaccines
  2. Inactivated vaccines
  3. Toxoid vaccine
  4. Subunit and conjugate vaccines
  5. mRNA vaccines
  6. Viral vector vaccines
  7. Vaccines for herd immunity
Doctors for Types of vaccines

Live attenuated vaccines use live but weakened germs.

This makes them closest to a natural infection, and thus provide strong immunity.

Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and chickenpox vaccines are live attenuated vaccines.

Inactivated vaccines use inactive or dead germs.

Quite often, booster shots of these vaccines are needed over time.

Examples are the flu, polio and rabies vaccines. Covaxin is also a vaccine of this type.

Toxoid vaccines protect against harmful substances made by germs called toxins. They use weakened versions of the toxins called toxoids.

These vaccines also often require booster shots.

Examples are the diphtheria and tetanus parts of the DPT vaccine.

Subunit and conjugate vaccines use only a specific part of a germ. They provide strong immunity to that key part of the germ.

These vaccines may also require booster shots.

An example of this is the hepatitis b vaccine. ​​Novavax’s covid 19 vaccine is also a protein subunit vaccine.

mRNA vaccines on the other hand, do not use germs or toxins. They contain a special type of RNA called messenger RNA or mRNA.

mRNA instructs your cells to make the germ’s antigen, which triggers an immune response.

Pfizer’s and Moderna’s covid 19 vaccines are examples of mRNA vaccines.

Viral vector vaccines use the genetic material of the germs to provide the immune system with instructions to make the germ’s antigen.

To deliver these instructions to your cells, the genetic material itself is wrapped in a different safe virus.

Sputnik V and Covishield covid19 vaccines are examples of this.

It is important to know that vaccines not only protect you but your community as well.

Many diseases that vaccines prevent are spread from person to person.

When only a few people in your community are vaccinated the risk of a disease outbreak is high. But if most people are vaccinated it's much less likely for a disease to spread.

This is called herd immunity.

Herd immunity is especially important to protect people who can't be vaccinated. This includes people with weakened immune systems, serious allergies, or certain health conditions.

Vaccines protect you, your family, and your community from diseases that can be dangerous or even deadly.

Dr. Arun R

Dr. Arun R

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

Infectious Disease
16 Years of Experience

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Infectious Disease
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Alok Mishra

Dr. Alok Mishra

Infectious Disease
5 Years of Experience

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