Asked by: Sharilyn Vaquer
medical health vaccines

How vaccines work and the steps of successful vaccination?

Last Updated: 13th May, 2020

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A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. To do this, certain molecules from the pathogen must be introduced into the body to trigger an immune response. These molecules are called antigens, and they are present on all viruses and bacteria.

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In this way, what should I do after vaccination?

For example:

  1. Drink lots of fluids.
  2. Put a cool, wet washcloth on places where you're sore.
  3. If your doctor approves, you can take a non-aspirin pain reliever.
  4. If your arm is sore after getting the shot, try moving your arm around — it can help with pain and swelling.

One may also ask, how long does it take for vaccines to work? When we receive a vaccine, our immune system gets to work immediately to create antibodies and memory cells to fight the infection. On average, an 'immune response' will take around 7-21 days.

Accordingly, how long does it take to make antibodies after vaccination?

about two weeks

How do vaccines elicit an immune response?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system to develop long-lasting immunity against antigens from specific pathogens. Priming the immune system involves sensitizing or stimulating an immune response with an antigen that can produce immunity to a disease-causing organism or toxin (poison).

Related Question Answers

Monsef Sohnges

Professional

Which vaccines hurt the most?

Achy muscles
Some people report significant pain from certain vaccines, like the ones that inoculate against HPV, hepatitis A and B and especially DTaP, which includes diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines. Research data backs up people's responses, says Dr. Messonnier.

Lanie Tirapegui

Professional

Is it hot or cold compress after vaccination?

Theoretically, both heat and cold modalities may improve interferon injection tolerance. Warm compress before injection may increase local blood flow and increase rapid systemic absorption, while cold compress afterward may reduce the erythema, edema and pain that often follow SC injections.

Sahli Vergara

Professional

Can I eat before vaccination?

It is OK to eat and drink before and after most vaccines. However, there are some vaccines, such as the cholera (which is a drink), where you cannot eat or drink (even water) for 2 hours before and 2 hours after having the vaccine.

Sintia Vergnaud

Explainer

What are the serious side effects of vaccines?

Most people don't have any serious side effects from vaccines. The most common side effects — like soreness where the shot was given — are usually mild and go away quickly on their own.

They include:
  • Pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given.
  • Mild fever.
  • Chills.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle and joint aches.

Laurie Moelder

Explainer

Do vaccinations make you tired?

Most people have no problems from the vaccine. If you get the flu shot, you might have a mild fever and feel tired or achy afterward. Some people also have soreness, redness, or swelling where they got their shot.

Diodora Resio

Explainer

How safe is vaccination?

Vaccines work.
Most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing disease. And if a vaccinated child does get the disease, the symptoms are usually less serious than in a child who hasn't been vaccinated. There may be mild side effects, like swelling where the shot was given, but they do not last long.

Zhuying Cherubini

Pundit

Can I bathe baby after vaccination?

do not put them in a bath, sponge them down or put a fan on them.

Bastiaan Alferov

Pundit

Do vaccines make babies sleepy?

A new study shows that infants who received their vaccinations after 1:30 p.m. were more likely to sleep longer and have a small increase in body temperature in the 24 hours following vaccination.

Aventina Geerz

Pundit

Do vaccines weaken the immune system?

Also, vaccines do not make a child sick with the disease, and they do not weaken the immune system. Vaccines introduce a killed/disabled antigen into the body so the immune system can produce antibodies against it and create immunity to the disease.

Albertino Schonke

Pundit

How long do vaccines stay in your system?

Many of the vaccines we received as children to create immunities to infectious diseases last a lifetime, but not all of them. For example, tetanus and diphtheria vaccines need to be updated with a new vaccine and then with booster shots every 10 years to maintain immunity.

Faly Chapon

Pundit

Do antibodies die?

Each B cell produces a single species of antibody, each with a unique antigen-binding site. Although many die after several days, some survive in the bone marrow for months or years and continue to secrete antibodies into the blood.

Zara Kampkes

Teacher

What happens to your body when you get a vaccine?

Your immune system reacts to the vaccine in a similar way that it would if it were being invaded by the disease — by making antibodies. The antibodies destroy the vaccine germs just as they would the disease germs — like a training exercise. Then they stay in your body, giving you immunity.

Lenny Murias

Teacher

How are antibodies produced after vaccination?

Vaccination increases the levels of circulating antibodies against a certain antigen. Antibodies are produced by a type of white blood cell (lymphocyte) called B cells. Each B cell can only produce antibodies against one specific epitope.

Meiyu Bartelsen

Teacher

What class of antibody is produced after vaccination?

Inactivated vaccines
A first injection of an inactivated vaccine or toxoid in an individual without prior exposure to the antigen produces a primary antibody response. This response is dominated by IgM antibody initially, followed by IgG antibody.

Inara Timm

Teacher

Which vaccines last for life?

Duration of protection by vaccine
Disease Estimated duration of protection from vaccine after receipt of all recommended doses 1,2
Hepatitis B >20 years to date
Measles Life-long in >96% vaccines
Mumps >10 years in 90%, waning slowly over time
Rubella Most vaccinees (>90%) protected >15-20 years

Vitaly Strassburg

Reviewer

How vaccines affect the immune system?

A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. To do this, certain molecules from the pathogen must be introduced into the body to trigger an immune response. These molecules are called antigens, and they are present on all viruses and bacteria.

Lierni Heppner

Reviewer

What is a vaccine for dummies?

Vaccine. A vaccine is made from very small amounts of weak or dead germs that can cause diseases — for example, viruses, bacteria, or toxins. It prepares your body to fight the disease faster and more effectively so you won't get sick.

Sumaira Seyfferle

Reviewer

Which vaccines should I avoid?

Vaccines: Who Should Avoid Them and Why
  • Flu.
  • Hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • HPV.
  • Tdap.
  • Shingles.
  • Meningococcal.
  • Takeaway.

Maj Bauhs

Reviewer

How many vaccines can be given at once?

Examples of combination vaccines are: DTap (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), trivalent IPV (three strains of inactivated polio vaccine), MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), DTap-Hib, and Hib-Hep B. Often, more than one shot will be given during the same doctor's visit, usually in separate limbs (e.g. one in each arm).