What Do Vaccines Do & What Are The Reasons For The Lack Of Vaccines And Immunization Against Some Diseases?

Vaccines And Immunization
26 May 2022
7 mins
Table Of Content
What Do Vaccines Do & What Are The Reasons For The Lack Of Vaccines And Immunization Against Some Diseases?

    Some diseases that used to kill or disable millions of people are either gone or seen rarely ever since vaccines were introduced. Currently, there are vaccines to prevent more than twenty life-threatening diseases, and the ongoing covid pandemic has also proven how important vaccines are. Let’s discuss how vaccines work and the reasons behind the lack of vaccines and immunization against some diseases.

    What Do Vaccines Actually Do?


    Vaccines are one of the clever and greatest inventions. Vaccines and immunization help prevent diseases that can be dangerous or even deadly. 


    When our body encounters a germ for the first time, the immune system tries to fight infection. When the body encounters the same germ, the immune system produces antibodies to attack them.


    Vaccines develop immunity by imitating an infection. However, this type of imitation does not cause illness or put you at any risk.


    A vaccine is made up of a small amount of virus, bacteria, or toxin that’s been destroyed or weakened in a lab first. After you get a vaccine, the immune system recognizes the invading germ and produces antibodies (proteins) to fight disease. The immune system remembers this infectious disease and how to fight it. So, if you are exposed to that germ in future, the immune system will quickly destroy the germ before you become unwell. 


    Most vaccines are administered as injections, but some may be given orally or sprayed into the nose. Vaccines can produce mild side effects such as fever, pain or redness at the injection site. But severe side effects are extremely rare. 

    Reasons For Lack Of Vaccines And Immunization Against Some Diseases


    Even with advancements in the medical field, there are currently no vaccines available for HIV, hepatitis C, respiratory syncytial virus, middle east respiratory syndrome, etc. Understanding what makes vaccines possible would give clarity on why vaccines are not available for some deadly diseases.


    Generally, once some infection passes (such as hepatitis A), people normally develop life-long immunity against that particular pathogen. Even if there are few people who are completely immune to that disease after recovery, vaccine development against this kind of disease is possible. 


    But when the immunity from disease is short-lived or microbes tend to mutate rapidly, that’s where challenges in the vaccine development begin.


    1. Vaccine Development Is An Expensive Process


    A vaccine for the prevention of infectious diseases will be given to millions of children, adults, adolescents, and it is crucial that they are demonstrated to be effective and safe. Hence vaccine development is usually a long and complex process. It often lasts ten to fifteen years and requires more than one billion dollars. 


    2. Unique Characteristics Of Pathogens


    Some properties of the individual pathogens can hamper vaccine development, and it is the foremost reason why severe infectious diseases don’t have vaccines yet. 


    As we already know, vaccines work by creating antibodies that can fight off a specific virus. Antibodies produced bind very precisely to a specific spot on a particular pathogen. Some pathogens mutate very rapidly, and their surfaces get modified before antibodies can bind to them.


    Hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of long-term hepatitis and liver transplants. Scientists are testing vaccines on people who have chronic hepatitis C. Compared to hepatitis A and B viruses, the hepatitis C virus is more variable. Around 7 genetically distinct forms (strains) and 60 subtypes have been discovered. 


    Effective vaccines for viruses must be able to offer protection against all or most of the genotypes. Also, hepatitis C in humans is similar to hepatitis C infection in chimpanzees and ethical, and cost factors limit biomedical research with these animals. 


    There are lots of disappointments and setbacks in the history of HIV vaccine development. HIV virus mutates rapidly (a little more than twenty-four hours) and has unique paths of evading the immune system. There are around 60 dominant strains and multiple subtypes, which creates a huge challenge in vaccine development. 


    In spite of challenges, researchers are still researching various solutions and have already made progress in the fight against this unique virus. 

    Vaccines Are Safe. Get Vaccinated


    Still, some people are hesitant to get vaccines due to fear. Remember, people are more likely to get severe illness by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine, and a licensed vaccine is thoroughly tested before it is approved for use. 


    Getting vaccinated is important not only to protect ourselves but also to protect those around us. A certain category of people, such as severely ill or people who have some allergies, cannot be vaccinated. Their safety from infectious diseases depends on others being vaccinated. If you have any doubts, ask your health care professional, he/ she will suggest what vaccinations are needed for you and your family.


    Written by
    GuruvigneshwariContent Writer
    AboutM.Pharmacy (Pharmacognosy)
    Tags :Vaccines and immunizationsvaccines for virusesvaccines immunizationimmunization vaccines