Vaccines - Preventing Diseases

To prevent some diseases caused by viruses as well as bacteria, there are vaccines.

Vaccines induce our immune system to produce specific antibodies against a particular microorganism. Thus, if a microorganism invades the body of a previously vaccinated person, the antibodies already in your body prevent the disease from installing itself. That is why vaccines are said to be used for the prevention of certain diseases.

Vaccines are introduced as dead or attenuated microorganisms, or inactivated toxins that they produce. Once applied to an individual, these agents are unable to cause disease, but are capable of stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies; The individual then gets immunized against the diseases.

Antibiotics fight bacterial infections, but have no effect on viruses. In some cases, certain medications slow the development of the disease but do not lead to cure. In the case of influenza and dengue, for example, the drugs applied relieve the uncomfortable symptoms they cause, such as headache and fever, but do not fight viruses.

Therefore, the best thing to do against viruses is to prevent the spread of these diseases; prevent themselves by taking vaccines, when available for the disease to be prevented and always with proper medical advice; and keep the immune system strong, leading a healthy life. This includes avoiding certain habits (such as smoking and drinking, for example), sleeping and eating well, as well as adopting various hygienic measures such as washing hands before meals, washing fruits and vegetables and drinking only treated water. .


Often the body of an infected person cannot produce the antibodies it needs because of insufficient time or because it is very weak. In such cases, she should receive the application of sera.

Vaccines and Serums: Are There Differences?

Serums differ from vaccines in that they already contain the antibodies the body needs and are used to cure rather than prevent them.

Sera preparation is done by applying dead or attenuated microorganisms or their toxins to animals such as rabbits, goats and horses. These animals may also receive venom from venomous spiders, scorpions and snakes, for example in sublethal, that is, nonmortal doses. In all these cases, animals start producing antibodies. Part of the animal's blood is then collected and, using appropriate techniques, antibodies are isolated and used in the production of sera.

There are, for example, serums rabies (used against anger), tetanus serum (fight against tetanus, a disease caused by a type of bacteria) and antiophidic sera (combat the poison of snakes), among others.

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