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means of producing immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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 against pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, by the introduction of live, killed, or altered antigens that stimulate the body to produce antibodies against more dangerous forms. Vaccination was used in ancient times in China, India, and Persia, and was introduced in the West in 1796 by Edward JennerJenner, Edward,
1749–1823, English physician; pupil of John Hunter. His invaluable experiments beginning in 1796 with the vaccination of eight-year-old James Phipps proved that cowpox provided immunity against smallpox.
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. Jenner demonstrated that rubbing or scraping the cowpox virus (the term vaccine comes from the Latin vacca, cow) into the skin produced only a local lesion but was sufficient to stimulate the production of antibodies that would defend the body against the more virulent smallpox.

Vaccination has eradicated smallpoxsmallpox,
acute, highly contagious disease causing a high fever and successive stages of severe skin eruptions. The disease dates from the time of ancient Egypt or before.
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 worldwide and prevents such diseases as choleracholera
or Asiatic cholera,
acute infectious disease caused by strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that have been infected by bacteriophages. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a
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, rabiesrabies
or hydrophobia
, acute viral infection of the central nervous system in dogs, foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and other animals, and in humans. The virus is transmitted from an animal to a person, or from one animal to another, via infected saliva, most often by
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, and typhoid fevertyphoid fever
acute, generalized infection caused by Salmonella typhi. The main sources of infection are contaminated water or milk and, especially in urban communities, food handlers who are carriers.
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. Vaccines work with the immune system's ability to recognize and destroy foreign proteins (antigens) that it determines are "nonself." Scientists are using this same principle to help the body recognize antigens peculiar to cancer cells. It is also applied in an experimental birth controlbirth control,
practice of contraception for the purpose of limiting reproduction. Methods of Birth Control

Male birth control methods include withdrawal of the male before ejaculation (the oldest contraceptive technique) and use of the condom, a rubber sheath
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 vaccine that tricks the immune system into believing that human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone secreted by a developing fertilized egg, is foreign, thus inactivating it and inducing menstruation even if fertilization has occurred. Vaccines are also used to control animal pests by conferring temporary infertility.

Vaccination programs have been notably successful in the United States. For example, in 1998 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported only one case of poliomyelitis, one of diphtheria, 34 of tetanus, and 89 of measles. Despite the availability of vaccines, many thousands of people in the United States still die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases such as hepatitishepatitis
, inflammation of the liver. There are many types of hepatitis. Causes include viruses, toxic chemicals, alcohol consumption, parasites and bacteria, and certain drugs.
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 and influenzainfluenza
or flu,
acute, highly contagious disease caused by a RNA virus (family Orthomyxoviridae); formerly known as the grippe. There are three types of the virus, designated A, B, and C, but only types A and B cause more serious contagious infections.
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Immunization against 17 diseases is recommended for young children and adolescents: hepatitis B (HepB); rotavirus; diphtheriadiphtheria
, acute contagious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Klebs-Loffler bacillus) bacteria that have been infected by a bacteriophage. It begins as a soreness of the throat with fever.
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, tetanustetanus
or lockjaw,
acute infectious disease of the central nervous system caused by the toxins of Clostridium tetani. The organism has a widespread distribution and is common in the soil, human and animal feces, and the digestive tracts of animals and humans;
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 (lockjaw), and pertussis (whooping coughwhooping cough
or pertussis,
highly communicable infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The early or catarrhal stage of whooping cough is manifested by the usual symptoms of an upper respiratory infection with bronchial involvement.
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), given together as DTaP (formerly DTP) and, for older children, Tdap; Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib); poliomyelitispoliomyelitis
, polio,
or infantile paralysis,
acute viral infection, mainly of children but also affecting older persons. There are three immunologic types of poliomyelitis virus; exposure to one type produces immunity only to that type, so infection with
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 (IPV); pneumococcal infections, including pneumoniapneumonia
, acute infection of one or both lungs that can be caused by a bacterium, usually Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called pneumococcus; see streptococcus), or by a virus, fungus, or other organism.
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, meningitismeningitis
or cerebrospinal meningitis
, acute inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other organisms, usually introduced via the bloodstream from infections
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, and bacteremia (PCV and PPV); measlesmeasles
or rubeola
, highly contagious disease of young children, caused by a filterable virus and spread by droplet spray from the nose, mouth, and throat of individuals in the infective stage.
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, mumpsmumps
(epidemic parotitis), acute contagious viral disease, manifesting itself chiefly in pain and swelling of the salivary glands, especially those at the angle of the jaw. Other symptoms are fever, a general feeling of illness, and pain on chewing or swallowing.
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, and rubellarubella
or German measles,
acute infectious disease of children and young adults. It is caused by a filterable virus that is spread by droplet spray from the respiratory tract of an infected individual.
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, given together as MMR; chicken poxchicken pox
or varicella
, infectious disease usually occurring in childhood. It is believed to be caused by the same herpesvirus that produces shingles. Chicken pox is highly communicable and is characterized by an easily recognizable rash consisting of blisterlike
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 (Var); hepatitis A (HepA); influenza; Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal meningitis; MCV4, MPSV4); and human papillomavirushuman papillomavirus
(HPV), any of a family of more than 60 viruses that cause various growths, including plantar warts and genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease. Detectable warts can be or removed, usually by chemicals, freezing, or laser, but often recur.
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 (HPV). Researchers are working to develop combination vaccines that would simplify vaccine administration. Immunization against diseases such as yellow feveryellow fever,
acute infectious disease endemic in tropical Africa and many areas of South America. Epidemics have extended into subtropical and temperate regions during warm seasons.
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 may be necessary before traveling to some countries. In 2002 the U.S. government decided to reinstitute smallpox vaccination for many military, health-care, and emergency personnel because of concern about a possible bioterror attack using smallpox.

See also inoculationinoculation,
in medicine, introduction of a preparation into the tissues or fluids of the body for the purpose of preventing or curing certain diseases. The preparation is usually a weakened culture of the agent causing the disease, as in vaccination against smallpox; however,
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See study by A. Allen (2007).


Active immunization against a variety of microorganisms or their components, with the ultimate goal of protecting the host against subsequent challenge by the naturally occurring infectious agent. The terms vaccine and vaccination were originally used only in connection with Edward Jenner's method for preventing smallpox, introduced in 1796. In 1881 Louis Pasteur proposed that these terms should be used to describe any prophylactic immunization. Vaccination now refers to active immunization against a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites (for example, malaria and trypanosomes). See Smallpox

Implicit within Jenner's method of vaccinating against smallpox was the recognition of immunologic cross-reactivity together with the notion that protection can be obtained through active immunization with a different, but related, live virus. It was not until the 1880s that the next immunizing agents, vaccines against rabies and anthrax, were introduced by Pasteur. Two facts of his experiments on rabies vaccines are particularly noteworthy.

First, Pasteur found that serial passage of the rabies agent in rabbits resulted in a weakening of its virulence in dogs. During multiple passages in an animal or in tissue culture cells, mutations accumulate as the virus adapts to its new environment. These mutations adversely affect virus reproduction in the natural host, resulting in lessened virulence. Only as the molecular basis for virulence has begun to be elucidated by modern biologists has it become possible to deliberately remove the genes promoting virulence so as to produce attenuated viruses.

Second, Pasteur demonstrated that rabies virus retained immunogenicity even after its infectivity was inactivated by formalin and other chemicals, thereby providing the paradigm for one class of noninfectious virus vaccine, the “killed”-virus vaccine.

Attenuated-live and inactivated vaccines are the two broad classifications for vaccines. Anti-idiotype antibody vaccines and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) vaccines represent innovations in inactivated vaccines. Recombinant-hybrid viruses are novel members of the live-virus vaccine class recently produced by genetic engineering.

Because attenuated-live-virus vaccines reproduce in the recipient, they provoke both a broader and more intense range of antibodies and T-lymphocyte-associated immune responses than noninfectious vaccines. Live-virus vaccines have been administered subdermally (vaccinia), subcutaneously (measles), intramuscularly (pseudorabies virus), intranasally (infectious bovine rhinotracheitis), orally (trivalent Sabin poliovirus), or by oropharyngeal aerosols (influenza). Combinations of vaccines have also been used. Live-virus vaccines administered through a natural route of infection often induce local immunity, which is a decided advantage. However, in the past, attenuated-live virus vaccines have been associated with several problems, such as reversion to virulence, natural spread to contacts, contaminating viruses, lability, and viral interference. See Animal virus, Virulence, Virus classification, Virus interference

Noninfectious vaccines include inactivated killed vaccines, subunit vaccines, synthetic peptide and biosynthetic polypeptide vaccines, oral transgenic plant vaccines, anti-idiotype antibody vaccines, DNA vaccines, and polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines. With most noninfectious vaccines a suitable formulation is essential to provide the optimal antigen delivery for maximal stimulation of protective immune responses. Development of new adjuvant (a substance that enhances the potency of the antigen) and vector systems is pivotal to produce practical molecular vaccines. See Antibody, Antigen, Immunity



a method of preventing smallpox by artificially infecting a person with vaccinia virus; it is a form of active immunization.

The method of variolation was used in ancient China, India, and Africa. A healthy person was injected subcutaneously or in his nasal mucosa with the contents of smallpox vesicles and pustules, or with dried smallpox pus. This gave him the disease, usually in a mild form, after which he acquired immunity. In the 18th century, variolation was also used in European countries, including Russia. However, it sometimes caused a severe form of the disease. Moreover, a person with the mild form could become a source of infection for those around him. Finally, variolation can also cause other infectious diseases. In 1796 the English physician E. Jenner proposed immunization with the contents of cowpox vesicles; he had observed that milkmaids infected by sick cows suffered a mild, local form of smallpox, with rashes only on the arms, and did not contract the disease subsequently. Jenner’s method was called vaccination.

Modern vaccine is prepared by infecting calves with vaccinia virus (smallpox virus repeatedly passaged in calves and having as a result all the properties of cowpox virus). The contents of an infected calfs pockmarks are ground and mixed with glycerin, which kills foreign microorganisms without destroying the vaccinia virus. Special regulations set forth the main requirements for the production, control, and storage of smallpox vaccine.

The introduction of vaccination in public health practice sharply lowered the incidence of smallpox. However, vaccination is not compulsory in many countries. According to regulations now in effect in the USSR, all children are vaccinated at the age of one or two years or earlier if there is the threat of an epidemic. Vaccination is repeated at the ages of eight and 16; medical personnel, communal service personnel, and some other groups are revaccinated every five years thereafter. Travelers to countries where smallpox exists or persons who have come in contact with those suffering from the disease must also be vaccinated. Vaccination is performed epicutaneously: the skin is disinfected, vaccine applied, and the skin scarified. Bathing is forbidden until the crust falls off. If the skin remains smooth and a scar does not form, the vaccination is considered unsuccessful and is repeated. A vaccination sometimes has severe side effects such as fever, pronounced local reddening, and edema, which soon pass spontaneously. Antivariolic gamma globulin is used if there are complications, which rarely occur.


What does it mean when you dream about vaccination?

Vaccination in a dream can relate to sickness in one’s waking life. Perhaps feeling the need to protect oneself from a particular situation or the influence of others. Could also be a sexual symbol. (See also Illness, Needle, Syringe).


Inoculation of viral or bacterial organisms or antigens to produce immunity in the recipient.
References in periodicals archive ?
An urgent catch-up vaccination program may be necessary to prevent future outbreaks.
Public health chiefs in Wirral have launched a catch-up vaccination programme,offering booster jabs to children aged between six months and four years on April 1, 2003.
There will also be a two-year catch-up vaccination campaign starting in autumn 2009 for girls up to 18, Edwina Hart, the Welsh health minister has revealed.