Vaccine Definition

A vaccine is defined as any substance which is used to stimulate the production of antibodies, in turn providing immunity against one or a few diseases.

A vaccine is defined as a biological preparation formulated to provide acquired immunity for a particular disease. Usually, vaccines contain a weakened or killed form of the disease-causing agent, its surface proteins or its toxins. When this preparation is introduced into the human body, the immune system is able to recognize the threat and destroy it. Moreover, the body will “remember” the threat and can initiate an appropriate response if encountered in the future.

The process of administering the vaccine is called vaccination or immunisation. It is responsible for the eradication of many diseases – especially infectious diseases such as smallpox and chickenpox. The term “vaccine” is derived from the Latin word “vaccinus”, from “vacca”, which means “from cows”. Edward Jenner coined the term for the technique where, he injected individuals with a mild form of cowpox, thereby rendering them immune to smallpox.

Main Article: Vaccination – Importance of Vaccines, Vaccination and Immunization

Frequently Asked Questions on Vaccine Definition

Define Vaccine

A vaccine is a substance that is used to stimulate the production of antibodies, thereby providing immunity against certain diseases.

Describe the process of vaccine production.

Vaccination is based on the memory of the immune system. Vaccines contain attenuated disease-causing organisms or toxins that initiate an immune response in the body. The first step in vaccine production is to prepare the antigen. Viruses are grown in the primary or cultured cells, bacteria are grown in the bioreactors. With the advent of biotechnology, recombinant antigenic protein is produced in bacteria or yeast. Then antigen is isolated and inactivated, the recombinant protein is processed and ultrafiltrated. Then vaccine is prepared by adding adjuvant, preservatives and stabilisers. Adjuvants enhance the immune response and stabilisers increase the shelf life. The final step in vaccine production is the packaging. Every vaccine has to be licensed by FDA before being brought into use. A vaccine needs to go through extensive tests and clinical trials to confirm its safety before the approval of the FDA.

Further Reading: Explore Smallpox

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