How do vaccines work? What are the different types of vaccines and how do they activate our immune systems? What is herd immunity?
This animated explainer from Nature introduces a lot of relevant medical terms and concepts as it walks through the answers to these questions step-by-step. Learn what happens when a vaccine is introduced, how our bodies develop the memory cells for lasting protection, and how herd immunity can disrupt chains of infection. Animation by Rosanna Wan.
More on herd immunity from the video narration:
Training the immune system through vaccination helps to protect individuals from infection. But vaccines can also protect people who can’t receive them. This is called herd protection or herd immunity.
Herd immunity is created when a large percentage of a population is immune to a disease. It works by disrupting chains of infection. Without new hosts to infect, pathogens can’t survive. That means that if a pathogen tries to infect someone who is vaccinated and so immune, it dies and the chain of infection is broken. If enough chains are broken in a population, it becomes very difficult for pathogens to reach those who would be vulnerable.
Related reading: Nature Milestones in Vaccines.
A super special shot: All about coronavirus vaccines.
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