Live and inactivated vaccines: what is the difference, which one is better?
Vaccination is an important preventive measure for many serious diseases, it plays a key role in the issue of preserving the health of the nation. Therefore, you should understand what preparations it is carried out. Depending on the type of vaccine introduced, specific, but quite normal, reactions of the body to it may occur. Do not be afraid of this, it is important to know more useful information about vaccinations, and then the fear will go away, and awareness and understanding will take its place.
The main types of modern vaccines
A vaccine is a drug that is used to form the body’s immunity to a microorganism that is the causative agent of a particular disease. Immunization, or vaccination, is the process by which a given immune response is formed by administering a vaccine.
There are many types of vaccines, they are classified according to different criteria. But according to the main classification, they are alive and inactivated.
Live, or attenuated vaccines are made from weakened pathogens that are modified artificially. In fact, a person is injected with viruses or bacteria that are the causative agents of a certain disease, but they are so weakened that they cannot provoke the occurrence of the disease. They multiply in the body, thus stimulating the production of immunity to oneself. Components of attenuated vaccines are obtained by the method of their cultivation in cell cultures or chicken embryos, so these drugs may cause allergies in some people. For example, vaccinated with live vaccines can not be people who are allergic to eggs.
Live vaccines have both advantages and disadvantages. Their main advantage is that they form a strong immunity for a long period of time. However, there are risks – the vaccine strain can cause a real disease, although this is very rare. Local reactions to such vaccines appear more clearly: the injection site may hurt and swell, body temperature may rise, etc. All this is considered normal. There are also warnings: you can not administer live drugs to people with HIV, leukemia and other diseases associated with human immunity.
Inactivated or killed vaccines are called drugs that do not contain live microorganisms. In order for the body’s immune response to be pronounced, adsorbents are almost always added to such vaccines — these are special substances that stimulate the body’s response to the pathogen. Most often, adsorbents are aluminum salts (aluminum phosphate or hydroxide).
Since inactivated vaccines do not contain live viruses and bacteria, they never cause the disease against which people are vaccinated. Therefore, inactivated vaccines are used to protect patients with immunodeficiency, leukemia and other immune diseases. But there are also disadvantages of such drugs: they must always be administered several times at regular intervals (to conduct revaccination), and the immunity begins to form only after the second or third administration.
It is difficult to answer the question: which vaccines are better, live or inactivated? Alive better and more quickly form the immune system, but are less safe than inactivated, are not suitable for people with certain diseases, can cause allergies. Live vaccines, more often, cheaper, inactivated – more expensive. One thing is clear: if there are no specific contraindications, it is possible and necessary to be vaccinated with live vaccines. Do not be afraid of vaccination, you should be afraid of the disease against which it is carried out.