Guest Post by Angie Anderson
A year ago, no one could have imagined how different the world would be today. Pandemic life is hard: lock downs, capacity restrictions, masks, school shutdowns and online learning, and the worst part—climbing death counts. With a husband who works in the COVID-19 unit of the ICU, I realize how debilitating and potentially deadly a severe case of COVID-19 can be. I don’t want to get this virus and I don’t want to contribute to community spread either. For all these reasons, my family is anxiously awaiting a safe and effective vaccine, which is why I jumped at the chance to participate in a vaccine trial. Read more
By Aimee Pugh-Bernard, PhD
This post was originally published on April 4, 2013 and updated on March 17, 2020.
In the third installment of the Immunology 101 Series, Aimee explains the process of vaccine development. Vaccines undergo rigorous testing and must be proven extremely safe and effective before they are available for use in the general public.
As you may know from reading the first Immunology 101 Series post, vaccines train our immune systems to recognize and respond quickly to infection to keep us healthy. Reading the second Immunology 101 Series post, you learned that there are several different forms of vaccines, each created to produce the most effective vaccine possible based on the unique properties of each type of pathogen. In this post you will learn about the process of vaccine development. The process is lengthy and rigorous, just as it should be to prove that the end product is safe and effective! Read more
There’s a lot of chatter going on these days about vaccines. Moms-to-be, new moms and seasoned moms are faced with loads of questions and concerns. What’s in the shots? Why are there so many? Should we space them out? Are they safe? What are the risks? And the challenge is, each of these questions is often met with conflicting answers. Read more
By Aimee Pugh-Bernard, PhD
As you know from reading the first Immunology 101 Series post, vaccines are composed of non-disease causing forms of pathogen (the scientific term for ‘germs’ such as bacteria and viruses) that allow our immune system to create long-lived memory cells. Memory cells remember the pathogen from the first encounter with the vaccine and quickly defeat the real, disease-causing pathogen when it enters our body. Essentially, vaccines train our immune system to recognize and respond quickly to infection to keep us healthy!
While getting your flu shot this season, you may have been offered the choice of different types of vaccines. Live, attenuated? Inactivated? What do these terms mean, and how do they affect protection? Read more