Vaccines are among the 20th
Century's most successful and cost-effective public health
tools available for preventing disease and death. They not
only prevent a vaccinated individual from developing a
potentially serious disease, but they also help protect the
entire community by reducing the spread of infectious
Most vaccine-preventable diseases are caused by germs that
are called "viruses" or "bacteria." Vaccines to help prevent
these diseases generally contain weakened or killed viruses
or bacteria specific to the disease. Vaccines help your body
recognize and fight these germs and protect you each time
you come in contact with someone who is sick with any of
**Information provided by the
Washington State Department of Health, Centers of Disease
Control & Prevention, National Network
Information, and Immunization Action Coalition.
There are a series of
steps that your body goes through in fighting these
- STEP 1:
A vaccine is given by a shot (influenza
vaccine may be given by a nasal spray.
Over the next few weeks the body makes
antibodies and memory cells against the
weakened or dead germs in the vaccine.
The antibodies can fight the real
disease germs if the person is exposed
to the germs and they invade the body.
The antibodies will help destroy the
germs and the person will not become
Antibodies and memory cells stay on
guard in the body for years after the
vaccination to safeguard it from the
real disease germs.
Most vaccines are given to babies and
young children, but some are needed throughout your lifetime
to make sure you stay protected. This protection is called "immunity".
Vaccines are an important and safe way to keep you healthy!
Information for: ADULTS
Immunization Information for: parents
(Infants/toddlers, pre-teens and adolescents
immunization Information for: college
students and young adults
immunization Information for: Pregnant women
Immunization Information for: people
with specific diseases/conditions
Immunization Information for:
Immunization Information for: health care workers
Immunization Information for: schools &