See also Artificial induction of immunity. When considering vaccination and immunisation, we are generally referring to stimulating the body's immune system to provide protection should it encounter a particular pathogen.
In modern parlance "immunity" is the state of protection from infection that you hope to provide; and "vaccination" describes the process intended to provide this immunity.
In addition to preventing infections, vaccination may also be used to treat infections (by stimulating a stronger immune response than natural infection); and also to prevent or treat other conditions such as high blood pressure.
The term "vaccination" is derived from the Latin for "cow" - because the first vaccine was the cowpox virus administered in 1796 by Edward Jenner (1749-1823), used to prevent smallpox. In 1980, as a result of huge and sustained public health efforts and enabled by Jenner's work, the World Health Assembly officially declared "the world and its peoples" free from endemic smallpox. Pasteur adopted the word for subsequent immunisations including Rabies which was a killed virus preparation.
The word "vaccination" is nowadays used to mean the process of giving a product containing antigens, with the intention that the body will generate antibodies to these antigens, thus giving the person immunity to pathogenic organisms expressing these antigens (active immunity).
Attacks on vaccination began in 1798, and were based on a variety of spurious ideas including god's will, but could later have included some useful alarms on cross-infection. Sadly, the strident idiocy with which they were made and which persists in many cases in present day arguments, made it difficult to discern any sense in them. In modern times there is an overlap between anti-vaccine activity and denialists on smoking and global warming and evolution, a general attack on science and rationality for the most part for immediate profit.
- ↑ Tissot AC, Maurer P, Nussberger J, Sabat R, Pfister T, Ignatenko S, et al. Effect of immunisation against angiotensin II with CYT006-AngQb on ambulatory blood pressure: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase IIa study. Lancet;371(9615):821-827 (abstract only)
- ↑ Samuelsson O, Herlitz H. Vaccination against high blood pressure: a new strategy. Lancet;371(9615):788-789
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Pages in category "Vaccination"
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