How do vaccines work inside our body?

Question:

How do vaccines work inside our body?

Answer and Explanation:

Vaccines are something like a training kit that helps your immune system learn how to fight off infection agents.

A vaccine will contain one or a few antigens, the specific pat of a pathogen recognized by the immune system. It may also contain something called an adjuvant, which helps strengthen the immune response.

Your immune system will see the antigens in the vaccine as a threat, and begin mounting a response. First, innate immune cells will respond. They will then call in the special forces, the adaptive immune system.

The adaptive immune system consists of B cells and T cells, which are both types of lymphocytes. Each lymphocyte can recognize one specific antigen. When it finds its antigen, it replicates repeatedly, creating an army of clones. These clones are then able to fight off and remove the pathogen. B cells work by producing antibody, which help target the pathogen. T cells help increase the rest of the immune response.

After the pathogen has been removed, most of the lymphocytes will die off. A few however will remain, waiting for the next time the pathogen comes. These are the memory cells. If the pathogen ever returns, they can mount an almost immediate response, removing the germ before you even get sick.


Learn more about this topic:

What is a Vaccine? - Definition, Function & Examples

from Microbiology: Help and Review

Chapter 6 / Lesson 14
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