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5 Types of Vaccines

By    |   Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 07:48 PM

Vaccines, while hotly debated in American health discussions, are an important foundation for the country’s protection against diseases.

Vaccines work in different ways in the body. A vaccine’s methodology is important because it provides a lot of information about the type of disease it is targeting and the risks associated with it.

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Here are five different types of vaccines:

1. Live, attenuated vaccines
These vaccines work by exposing the patient to a live, weakened version of the disease to “teach” the immune system how to fight it.This type of vaccine is is used to treat measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), chickenpox, and in the flu nasal spray FluMist.

Disadvantages to this type of vaccine include the possibility of infection if the sample mutated and strengthened or if the patient has a weak immune system, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

The NIAID also cautioned that keeping live vaccines refrigerated is critical to maintaining effectiveness. This is a drawback when working in underdeveloped countries without many resources.

2. Inactivated vaccines
A majority of vaccines are inactivated, which means the disease-causing microbe is killed while manufacturing the dose. This is used in vaccines ranging from Gardasil, most flu shots, polio, and meningitis, the Centers for Disease Control reported.

These vaccines are advantageous over live vaccines because they don’t require refrigeration and therefore are more accessible to developing nations. However, they do not teach the immune system as well as live vaccines, so they often require multiple doses, NIAID said.

3. Subunit vaccines
Subunit vaccines only include specific "antigens," the thing in diseases that triggers the immune system. They are made either by breaking the disease apart or through genetic engineering.

Hepatitis B vaccines are usually under this category. They are often strong vaccines since they directly target the immune system but don’t contain the entire microbe that increases risk of infection.

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4. Toxoid vaccines
NAIAD explained toxoid vaccines as best used against bacterial toxin illnesses. These vaccines use “detoxified toxins” to teach the immune system. Diphtheria and tetanus vaccines often use this methodology.

5. Conjugate vaccines
Conjugate vaccines are a type of subunit vaccine that target harmful bacteria. Bacteria are sometimes coated in sugar molecules (poysaccharides), which hides them from immature immune systems found in younger children, NAIAD said. To get around this problem, scientists develop conjugate vaccines that allow a child's immune system to recognize and defend itself from the bacteria.

This is used in the “Hib” vaccine most children receive, which fights the Haemophilus influenza type B disease.

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Vaccines, while hotly debated in American health discussions, are an important foundation for the country's protection against diseases. Vaccines work in different ways in the body.
vaccines, types, health
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2015-48-04
Thursday, 04 Jun 2015 07:48 PM
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