There are different types of vaccines that we can recognize. Each type is designed to teach your immune system how to fight off certain kinds of germs—and the serious diseases they cause.
– The inactivatedand the Live-attenuated vaccines use a killed or a weakened version of the germ that causes the disease.
– Messenger RNA vaccines teach the human cells how to make proteins in order to trigger an immune response. This technology was used to develop some of the COVID-19 vaccines, and since it doesn’t contain a live virus, this vaccine can be manufactured in a relatively short time.
– Subunit and conjugate vaccines involve using specific pieces of the germ, like its protein, sugar, or capsid.
This gives a very strong immune response that’s targeted to key parts of the germ.
– Toxoid vaccines use the toxin (or the harmful product made by the germ) to provide immunity against the harmful part of the germ, rather than the germ itself.
– Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus as a vector to deliver protection. For example, Adenovirus is one of the viral vectors used in some COVID-19 vaccines.
When the body is exposed to the harmful pathogen in the vaccine, the immune system reacts immediately by producing antibodies specific to the organism causing the disease. This provides immunity without actually triggering the disease.
Unlike what is commonly thought, vaccines do not necessarily aim to fully cure the disease. In fact, patients can still show moderate symptoms after being vaccinated. Vaccines simply aim to prevent the disease from causing severe symptoms, hospitalization or death.