Pediatrics

4 ways to talk with vaccine skeptics

Your neighbor is telling you about his new baby. He feels nervous about vaccinating, and says he's considering delaying Lucy's vaccines.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers bring us one step closer to universal influenza vaccine

The scourge of the influenza virus devastates health and claims many lives worldwide each year. It is especially daunting because vaccines are only protective when they are well matched to the strains circulating in the population. ...

Health

Can surgical masks protect you from getting the flu?

Australia has just suffered a severe flu season, with 299,211 laboratory-confirmed cases, at last count, and 662 deaths. This might be a sign of what's to come for the UK and US as the virus spreads to the northern hemisphere.

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Vaccine

A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains a small amount of an agent that resembles a microorganism. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and "remember" it, so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any of these microorganisms that it later encounters.

Vaccines can be prophylactic (e.g. to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by any natural or "wild" pathogen), or therapeutic (e.g. vaccines against cancer are also being investigated; see cancer vaccine).

The term vaccine derives from Edward Jenner's 1796 use of the term cow pox (Latin variolæ vaccinæ, adapted from the Latin vaccīn-us, from vacca cow), which, when administered to humans, provided them protection against smallpox.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA