What is the Purpose of a Vaccine?

When it comes to provision of public health measures, the world is not only concerned with the provision of safe food, water and sanitation but also in vaccination. Since its discovery, vaccination has become an effective way to control infectious diseases that were previously responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

The main reason for a vaccine or vaccination is to produce immunity, where immunity describes the presence of antibodies in a person’s body which produce a protective immune response. The antibodies attack viruses, bacteria and the toxins they produce in order to keep them from causing the disease. There are specific antibodies for every disease.

The purposes of a vaccine include:

  • Building immunity and preventing diseases in the person vaccinated: A vaccine is a dead or weakened version of the germ that causes the disease in question. After vaccination, the immune system will build up antibodies that will protect you from contracting the disease if and when you are exposed to the actual disease.
  • Protecting a person from spreading a disease: a vaccine keeps others safe by eliminating or reducing the risks of spreading a dangerous disease from one person to another.

While there are still some disease that you are vaccinated against that are not communicable like tetanus, vaccines have an important role to play in your immunity.