When people are experiencing good health, it is due to an effective and working immune system. The immune system is responsible for keeping the body safe from invading germs that try to attack it. The immune involves the different organs of the body, and works together with the circulatory system, which controls the flow of blood throughout the body. The immune system defends the body against attacks by germs and bacteria, from other people, or in foods. The immune system is made up of cells just like the rest of the body.
However, the immune system may need some outside assistance to help keep the body safe and immune from many sicknesses and diseases. Vaccines are used to prevent sickness and disease from affecting the body.
Cells reproduce, and just like cells, disease germs can enter the body and reproduce. Often, the germs are recognized by the immune system and antibodies are produced to destroy the germs that make a person sick. They do not always prevent a person from getting sick, but the antibodies will 'remember' the next time the same germs decide to invade the same body. The immune system then becomes stronger. The germs will immediately be destroyed before they have a chance to cause the sickness or a disease. The entire process is called immunity or natural immunity.
Nevertheless, the body can receive outside help from vaccines. A vaccine is a shot or immunization containing weakened or dead bacteria, or a virus, to increase protection against a disease. A vaccine develops the immunity for a person's body against the disease or sickness.
Vaccines are made from some of the same, or parts of, germs that cause the disease. For example, a polio vaccine is made from a weak or dead polio virus. A body is tricked into thinking it is the real virus and the antibodies are made to protect you from polio for the rest of your life. The weak virus is injected into the body for the immune system to fight against. The weak virus has been changed so a person does not get sick from it. If the real disease or virus tries to attack, the antibodies that were produced against the weak virus will then destroy the real virus.
There are several types of vaccines used to help fight germs and disease. Three of the most common include vaccines for chickenpox, mumps, and measles. Before every winter season, the influenza (flu) vaccine become available to combat two types of flu viruses: Type A and B. A new vaccine is needed every year. Flu activity increases between December and February and deaths due to the flu can range from 3,000 to 49,000 each year. The flu vaccine prevents many people from suffering the effects of a flu such as fever, chills, sore throat, cough, body aches, headaches, and more.
There are many other vaccines for other diseases and sicknesses as well such as for Hepatitis A and B, which is a liver infection; HIV, affecting the immune system; malaria, causing organ failure or death; TB or tuberculosis, infection of a person's lungs, with 1/3 of the people in the world affected; and many others.
Every person in the world does not need to receive a shot for every vaccine. Some vaccines are needed in certain parts of the world, or some are for older people or younger people only. The more people who get a vaccine will decrease the chances of a sickness or disease from spreading. Vaccines are safe and effective, and every vaccine goes through rigorous testing and review by experts such as scientists, doctors, and other organizations.
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