Do you need vaccinations?
It would seem that a strange question in the XXI century, when the fashion for a healthy lifestyle came. However strange it may be, there are still many people who oppose vaccination. They not only refuse vaccinations themselves, but also do not allow doctors to vaccinate their children. In this article, we will try to find out what governs these people and answer the question whether vaccines are still needed or not.
What is a vaccine?
Perhaps we should start with a little excursion into history. The emergence of the term vaccine and full-fledged study of the mechanism of vaccination occurred in the XVII century, thanks to the work of the French microbiologist and chemist Louis Pasteur. He created his theory of the causative agents of infectious diseases and, on its basis, began to develop vaccines for the prevention of infectious diseases. He managed to create a vaccine against anthrax and rabies vaccination, laying the foundations of the theory of artificial immunity.
A vaccine is a drug created on the basis of microorganisms that cause infection or special antigen molecules, the action of which is aimed at creating immunity to a certain infectious disease.
Types of vaccines
Currently there are more than a hundred different vaccinations against infectious diseases. They are usually divided into the following groups:
- Live, attenuated vaccines are drugs that contain microorganisms that are initially not strong enough or are unable to cause the development of the disease. However, if they enter a living organism, they provoke an immune response to this infectious disease in the future. Such vaccines are used to prevent measles, rubella, mumps, chicken pox, mumps and the flu.
- Killed, inactive vaccines are drugs that contain microorganisms that cause infectious diseases, previously, before being introduced into the human body, which are not active chemically or thermally. They are not as effective as live vaccines, and instill immunity to an infectious disease only for a short period of time, but they are safer, since inactive microorganisms are guaranteed not to lead to the development of the disease, unlike weakened ones. Such vaccinations are done to prevent polio and hepatitis A.
- Anatoxins.Some bacterial diseases do not develop in the body from the entry of any specific bacteria, but because of the toxins that these bacteria produce. For their prevention, the bacteria themselves are not found in the organism, but inactivated toxins produced by these microorganisms or toxoids. These vaccinations serve to prevent the development of diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough.
- Conjugated and subunit vaccines. Subunit vaccines contain only fragments of microorganisms that cause an infectious disease. Conjugate vaccines are made on the basis of two or more different components. Both those and others provoke the formation of an immunological reaction in the body. This group includes vaccines against human papillomavirus, hemophilic infection, acellular pertussis vaccine and influenza vaccine.
The Ministry of Healthcare of Russia is carefully monitoring that all citizens of our country are subject to routine vaccination. There is a special vaccination schedule, which sets out the procedure for vaccination for all groups of citizens.Thus, vaccinations against tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio are obligatory. Some vaccinations are enough to do once, while others need to be done regularly. For example, vaccination with ADS-M against diphtheria and tetanus is done not only for children, but also for adults, every 10 years.
Currently, the Russian Federation has approved a list of diseases, for the prevention of which vaccinations are made on a mandatory basis:
- whooping cough;
- Hepatitis B;
Unreasonable risk or durable protection?
Some believe that vaccines can reduce a person’s immunity. However, such accusations are not scientifically sound. Every day we put ourselves at risk of getting an infectious disease when we communicate with other people or just go out. If you cannot afford to yourself or your child to live permanently under a glass dome in an atmosphere of complete sterility, then you cannot escape this threat. Of course, it is better to subject your body to a small test of the weakened molecules of the infectious agent under the strict supervision of doctors than to unexpectedly find in yourself the severe form of this disease.
Another common concern is the risk of becoming infected with the disease from which the vaccine is intended. As we saw from the vaccine classification described above, only one type of vaccine (live vaccine) is theoretically capable of causing the disease to develop. However, if you follow all the recommendations prescribed for this type of procedure and use only proven vaccines under the supervision of a physician, then there will be no harm from these vaccines. On the contrary, you strengthen the body's immunity and can not be afraid of infection. A vivid example of the benefits of vaccination are people who in the autumn-winter period are vaccinated against influenza, thereby protecting themselves from the threat of being infected during an epidemic.