Vaccine Series #2 – Types of Vaccines

Have you been watching news of the COVID-19 vaccine process? Do you have questions and want to know more? Check out this new series of videos talking about various things related to the COVID-19 vaccine. The second video provides information about 2 types of vaccines! New vaccine series videos released every few days.

[Video Description: Alicia, a mixed Asian woman wearing a green short-sleeved shirt with long brown hair, is sitting in front of a light brown wood panel background on a rust colored couch.]

Transcript: So now let’s discuss vaccines. The goal of vaccines is to create an immune system response without an infection. Successful vaccines produce a strong internal response that activates the immune system and allows them to recognize and store the memory of the pathogen to have ready. This way, when the pathogen shows up in real life, your body is ready. Historically, we have used several types of vaccines. Two main types of vaccines include the full genetic code of the pathogen. One type of vaccine is where the pathogens are “alive” but the genetics of the virus is altered to be weak or often the word used is attenuated. This means that the body can recognize the pathogen, but the pathogen is unable to replicate or increase in number within humans. The immune system will recognize the virus will not cause a true infection. Another type is the inactivated or killed virus. This type typically uses heat or chemicals to kill the virus while maintaining the virus shape and its components, but nothing inside the virus works while still allowing the immune system to respond. This is why we heat up raw meat to a certain temperature to kill pathogens, or use chemicals such as soap to kill pathogens. It is important to recognize that there is a difference between attenuated and killed vaccines. Attenuated vaccines usually provide longer protection and these can be found in the chickenpox vaccine and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. While killed vaccines often will need a second shot also called a booster shot. The seasonal influenza shots are typically killed vaccines. When someone asks me an immunology-related question, my most common response is — it depends. Everything I just told you is context-dependent; based on each person and situation there are exceptions and variations to the information!



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