B1 Vaccines

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  • Created by: Sara
  • Created on: 23-12-12 00:09
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Isn't it better to prevent a disease from developing in the first place, than to wait after a disease to
do something?
Usually, when you're infected with a pathogen, your white blood cells take a few days to produce
the right antibodies, to kill it. By this time, you will probably feel quite ill. Vaccines can be used to
prevent future infections.
Having a vaccination involves injecting a small amount of a dead/inactive form of the pathogen.
When this enters your body, it allows the white blood cells to read the antigen (the shape of the
pathogen) and produce antibodies to tackle it. The pathogen will be harmless because it is dead or
inactive so you won't actually feel very ill.
If the actual form of the pathogen then enters your body after this. Your body will mass-produce the
same type of antibody that was produced with the dead/inactive form because the antigen will still
be the same for the same type of disease.
There are advantages and disadvantages to getting a vaccination
- Vaccines have helped control infectious diseases that were really common in the UK. For
example, infections like rubella are now really uncommon. Others, like smallpox don't even
exist anymore
- Epidemics which are big outbreaks of disease can be prevented if a large proportion of the
population is vaccinated. This will also reduce the risk of people who aren't vaccinated from
getting the disease because it will be harder to pass it on.
- Vaccines don't always work, they can't always provide immunity from a disease
- Some people can sometimes have side effects from them, such as swelling.

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You don't need to know this graph in full detail for B1, however it allows you to see how a vaccine works in a different way.
As you can see from the graph, there is a primary and secondary section. This is referring to the first
time the person had the pathogen entering the body, and the second time the person had the
pathogen entering. On the y axis is the antibody concentration, and on the x axis is the time in days.…read more


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