Josh Peters | Genetic Literacy Project | May 31, 2018
After I received a vaccine as a child, my mom would take me to get ice cream. While I inhaled my vanilla twist, my body was mounting a response to the inactive virus or bacteria injected into my left arm.
In an orchestral sequence of events, the body processes antigens, substances that provoke an immune reaction, in the vaccine and produces antibodies to defend itself. In vaccines, these antigens are commonly live, weakened, parts of, or dead pathogens. When we encounter these invaders in the future, antibodies identify the antigen, call in backup, and the threat is eliminated. This specific reaction is known as the adaptive immune response, one of two pillars that make up our immune system.
This symphony is wildly successful in many cases – the vaccine is the most important invention in medicine. Hundreds of millions of people saved, millions of disease cases and deaths prevented, billions of dollars saved in healthcare. Take polio, for example: an injection of inactivated poliovirus has nearly wiped it from existence...........To Read More....