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Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Vaccination Immunisation

Vaccination Immunisation

After clean water, vaccination is the most effective public health intervention in the world for saving lives and promoting good health. The term vaccination originated from the procedure used to protect people with the first vaccine for smallpox, vaccinia.

This vaccine was derived originally from the serum from a cow infected with vaccinia virus (from the latin vacca, or cow). Vaccination is now used to refer to all procedures for immunisation. Immunisation is the process of protecting individuals from infection through passive or active immunity. Passive immunity is provided by administering antibodies, such as varicella zoster immune globulin, (VZIG) for preventing chickenpox in pregnant women. Active immunity is achieved through stimulating the individual's immune system by an inactive vaccine (toxoid such as tetanus, inactivated organism such as hepatitis A vaccine, or subunit vaccines such as acellular pertussis vaccine) or a modified, attenuated live organism (such as oral polio vaccine or MMR).

Vaccine preventable diseases:

Haemophilius influenzae Type B
Human papillomavirus (HPV) - cervical cancer and genital warts
Meningococcal (Meningitis)
Pneumococcal disease
Whooping cough (Pertussis)