Essay on Vaccines : A World Of Germs

712 Words Dec 7th, 2015 3 Pages
When a baby is born, it enters the land of microbes - a world of germs. Modern medicine does what it can to protect the infant. Its main bulwark against disease is the vaccine. Heralded by some, and cursed by others, the history of vaccines is rich. Starting with Edward Jenner and his pioneering achievement of the smallpox immunization, many lives have been spared from disease due to the vaccine. Since Jenner’s achievement, other vaccines have been introduced, and the incidence rate for several diseases has diminished. Vaccines arguably remain the greatest medical success in history. Vaccines, also referred to as immunizations, needles, and shots, protect people from major diseases; ones which can be debilitating, and often deadly. A vaccine typically carries a small quantity of the disease agent. The disease-causing germs, or microbes, present in the vaccine are delivered in a small dose to avoid causing the receptor to become sick. Some vaccines do not contain any germs. When administered intravenously, the agent prompts the body’s immune system to react. During the immune response, the agent is destroyed. Meanwhile, the immune system creates antibodies to prevent future infection from that particular disease. Antibodies essentially trap and kill the infectious germ, rendering it harmless. Each antibody and memory cell “remembers” the germs it is supposed to target. Antibodies remain active in the body for up to a person’s lifetime. Booster shots are…

Related Documents