How do vaccines work to protect my child?

Health Minute

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Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body's natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease.

When viruses and bacteria invade the body they attack and multiply. This invasion is called an “infection” which causes illness. The immune system then fights the infection. Once it fights off the infection, the body is left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future.

The human immune system is designed to protect us from anything that enters our body and doesn’t belong there. When a disease organism enters the body, the immune system recognizes it as an invader and produces antibodies to get rid of it. These antibodies find and destroy the specific germ causing the infection.

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this "imitation" infection does not cause illness. It does, however, cause the immune system to develop the same response it does to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.

Talk to your primary care physician for more information how vaccines work to protect your child.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.