Immunization and vaccination: What’s the difference between the two?

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Most of us have heard of these two terms—vaccination and immunization.  However, many of us may be unsure of what they imply or how they differ from one another. In fact, a lot of us frequently use these words interchangeably. But there is a difference.

Difference between vaccination and immunization

The terms vaccination and immunization do not have the same meaning. Vaccination means the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease, whereas immunization is the process by which a person becomes protected against the disease through vaccination. So, this term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.

How do they work?

The vaccination can be an injection form or taking an oral vaccine and immunization refers to the process of both getting the vaccine and becoming immune to the disease following the vaccination. Every type of immunization works in almost the same way.

Being vaccinated is important. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is why, when someone is injected with the vaccine, their body produces an immune response which is called immunization. In the same way, it should follow exposure to a disease but without the person getting the disease. So, if the person comes in contact with the disease in the future, the body is able to make an immune response fast enough to prevent the person from developing the illness or from reacting to a serious form of the illness.

Also read: Natural immunity or Covid-19 vaccination – what’s your pick to be safe during the pandemic?

Vaccination generally gets administered by doctors or through injections or other external elements. However, immunization is not something that gets administered by any external elements of the environment. It is mainly the response of a person’s body to a vaccine or any disease.

How effective is vaccination?

Some vaccines contain a very small dose of a live but weakened form of a virus. Some vaccines contain a very small dose of killed bacteria or a tiny dosage of a modified toxin made by the bacterium that is present in some bacteria, other vaccines, and other vaccine components. So, vaccines may also contain either a small amount of preservative or a small amount of an antibiotic to preserve the vaccine. Some vaccines may also contain a small amount of aluminum that aids in improving immunological response.

Immunization and vaccination can help improve your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Effectiveness of immunization

Every year, immunization saves millions of lives and contributes to global health and development. By strengthening your body’s natural defense, vaccines lower your risk of contracting a disease. Your immune system reacts to vaccinations.

Immunization is an unquestionable right and an essential part of primary health care. Infectious illness outbreaks are often prevented and controlled with the use of vaccines. They support the safety of the world’s health and will be a crucial weapon in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

To whom is the vaccination given?

A vaccine is given to a person to build immunity against that disease, which is the main distinction between vaccination and immunization. For instance, infant has a greater chance of catching polio before receiving the polio vaccine because they do not yet have immunity to the disease. Consequently, a vaccine increases a person’s resistance or immunity to a disease.

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