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Vaccination & Immunization

Vaccination also called as Immunization, is the process of providing immunity against a disease by a introducing a substance called a vaccine into the body. A vaccine is a preparation of living or dead organisms. However, in common usage the term “vaccine” includes toxoids. Toxoids are poisons produced by microorganisms. They are weakened or inactivated by adding chemicals such as formalin, acetone, or phenol. Toxoids are used to provide immunity against diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus (lockjaw), and other diseases.

In many countries vaccination against certain disease is compulsory. In most parts of the United States, state or local laws require school children to be vaccinated against certain disease before they begin school. The federal government makes various kinds of vaccinations compulsory for immigrants, persons serving in the armed forces, and persons returning from countries where such diseases as cholera are known to exist. Some persons, however, oppose vaccination, mainly on religious grounds. II. Discussion A.

History The first vaccine was developed to fight smallpox. In the late 1700’s Edward Jenner, an English physician, noticed that smallpox did not seem to affect milkmaids who handled cattle infected with cowpox. However blister like sores, similar to those of smallpox, appeared on their hands. In 1796, Jenner inoculated 8-year old James Phipps with cowpox germs obtained from such a sore. Jenner later inoculated the boy with smallpox germs, but the disease did not develop. Jenner published his findings in 1798.

When vaccinations were first practiced many mistakes were made. Some persons were not healthy enough to resist inoculation, and instead being protected against smallpox, they contracted the disease. Sometimes other diseases were transmitted from the persons who contributed cowpox virus for vaccination to the persons who were vaccinated. These problems were eventually overcome, and objections to vaccination on medical grounds gradually died. Jenner’s vaccine remained the only known inoculating material until 1881, when Louis Pasteur developed the anthrax vaccine.

Scientists since then have not only developed numerous other vaccines, but have made existing ones more effective, easier to give, and milder in reaction. As a result of a massive vaccination program, smallpox has been eliminated throughout the world. B. How Vaccine works? Vaccination introduces a mild form of an infectious disease into the body. The vaccinated person’s blood produces antibodies that provide immunity against disease. The immunity provided by vaccination can last for months, years or lifetime, depending on the vaccine.

Successful vaccines have been developed for such diseases such as small pox, measles, mumps, typhoid fever, yellow fever, rabies, anthrax, and poliomyelitis. A vaccine can be given as a precautionary measure or as a treatment for an existing disease. For example, the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines are intended to prevent infection by the polio virus, while rabies vaccine is given only after a person has been bitten by a rabid animal. Most vaccines are given by injection, and several different vaccines are often combined in one shot.

Some vaccines are given orally by mouth in pill or liquid form. When living or dead microorganisms or weakened poisons are introduced into the body as vaccines, they may cause reaction which is a mild form of the disease. However, this reaction will not take place in persons who are immune to the disease. When vaccination is made by injection, the point where the needle penetrated the skin may become sore and inflamed within a few days. These reactions show that the body is producing antibodies against the disease. C.

Pros and Cons of Vaccine One can never deny the advantages or the help that vaccines contribute to the society. Through exposing the body to a small amount of the microorganism, it helps protect the body in return. It serves a protection from letting the body contract the infection or disease such as rabies, chickenpox, influenza and other life threatening illnesses. Vaccines also helps the immune system become more “in the action” to fight whatever foreign bacteria’s or viruses that will try to invade a person’s body.

It strengthens our immunity against all kinds of deadly diseases. However, there are also disadvantages about being vaccinated. Vaccination has side effects that can sometimes be fatal as well. Some individuals normally experiences the usual side effects of vaccine like swelling in the site of injection, nausea and fever as well however, there are individuals that experiences the higher level of side effects that can be a total damage to a person’s immunity or physique. Researchers still continues to study about the in-depth detail and nature of vaccine.

III. Conclusion In certain medications there are always pros and cons of it. But what we must consider are the greater number of benefits that we are able to get from where in a great number of people will be protected against illnesses and diseases for them to be able to function well in their everyday lives. Vaccines are just used for us to be provided with such immunity but individually we should also do precautionary measures to be able to protect ourselves from contracting certain illnesses/ diseases.

References:

1. Chase, Allen. (1982). Magic Shots: a Human and Scientific Account of the Long and Continuing Struggle to Eradicate Infectious Diseases by Vaccination. Morrow Publishing Company. 2. Elizabeth A. Breen; William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 41, 1999. A One Shot Deal: The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, Personal injuries–Remedies, Vaccines–Laws, regulations, etc. 3. Journal of Environmental Health, Vol. 68, 2005. 50th Anniversary of the First Polio Vaccine.

Poliomyelitis vaccine–Distribution, Poliovirus vaccines–Distribution, Vaccination–Analysis, Vaccination–Social aspects 4. George J. Annas; Smallpox Vaccine: Not worth the Risk . The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 33, 2003. Medical personnel–Safety and security measures, Smallpox vaccine–Usage, Smallpox vaccines–Usage. 5. Henk Van Loveren, Jan G. C. Van Amsterdam, Rob J. Vandebriel, Tjeerd G. Kimman, Hans C. Rumke, Peter S. Steerenberg, Jeff G. Vos; Vaccine-Induced Antibody Responses as Parameters of the Influence of Endogenous and Environmental Factors .

Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 109, 2001. 6. Tim Fulford, Debbie Lee; The Jenneration of Disease: Vaccination, Romanticism, and Revolution. Studies in Romanticism, Vol. 39, 2000. 7. Honor Hsin; Lethal Strains: Challenges in the Pursuit of Biological Security. Harvard International Review, Vol. 24, 2003. 8. M. Elizabeth Halloran, Marie-Pierre Preziosi, Haitao Chu; Estimating Vaccine Efficacy from Secondary Attack Rates. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 98, 2003. 9. John Treanor; The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to the Growing Vaccine Crisis.

Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 114, 2006. 10. Josephine Johnston, Angela A. Wasunna; Patents, Biomedical Research. and Treatments: Examining Concerns, Canvassing Solutions . The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 37, 2007. 11. Amie Batson, Matthias M. Bekier; Vaccines Where They’re Needed . The McKinsey Quarterly, 2001. 12. Kathi E. Hanna; A Shot in the Arm for Public Health? The Hastings Center Report, Vol. 31, 2001. 13. Veena Das; Public Good, Ethics, and Everyday Life: Beyond the Boundaries of Bioethics . Daedalus, Vol. 128, 1999

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