What are vaccines?
Vaccines are a series of biological products that are composed of a set of inactive or weakened microorganisms. These microorganisms are injected into the body as a preventative measure for infectious diseases and allergies. There are different types of vaccines and each one is designed to show the immune system how to fight against specific viruses.
Once the vaccine is introduced into the body, it recreates the disease without allowing an infection to take hold. Vaccines stimulate the immune system to develop defences that will act against specific germs or viruses should the body one day come into contact with them.
Why are vaccines created?
Many diseases that were common in the past are very rare today due to vaccinations. Vaccines are used to protect people from infections, some of which can be very frequent, serious and can even become disabling or fatal.
What does receiving a vaccine consist of?
The vaccine is introduced into the body by means of injection and the immune system prepares defences to repel the disease by recreating the disease without allowing the body to become infected. With many vaccines, there are multiple injections needed over a period of time.
No special preparation is required from the recipient of the vaccine. The specialist giving the vaccine will check the recipient’s medical history and any medications they've recently taken, as well as potentially checking their diet.
Care after a vaccine
Once vaccinated, the specialist will cover the injected area with cotton and press on it gently for a minute. In some cases, you may need to stay in a waiting area for at least half an hour in case there is any type of reaction.
Vaccines can have adverse effects, such as fever, pain and swelling. However, this is not common and there are treatments for these scenarios.