Vaccines protect you (and everyone around you) from highly infectious and potentially deadly pathogens (disease-causing organisms such as bacteria and viruses) without you needing to be exposed to the actual pathogen. Medical historians consider vaccines one of the most important advances in medicine, and vaccines save the lives of millions of people around the globe each year.
Vaccines allow your body to produce infection-fighting cells and pathogen-specific antibodies, which are the molecules that remain in your immune system and recognize and attack pathogens. A vaccine mimics an infection by exposing your immune system to a weakened or dead pathogen, allowing the system to recognize this pathogen and build up protection against it. Then, if you are exposed to the real...Read more