What Are the Different Types of Vaccines?

What Are the Different Types of Vaccines?


>>Hi, my name’s Paul Offit. I’m talking to
you today from the Vaccine Education Center here at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
One thing that some parents wonder about is, “How does one make vaccines?” Or said another
way, “What are the different types of vaccines?” And here’s what I would say. First, one way to make a vaccine is that you
take a virus and you weaken it. Weaken it so that it can reproduce itself enough to
induce an immune response, but not enough to cause disease. And that’s the way that
the measles vaccine is made, the mumps vaccine is made, the chickenpox vaccine, the rubella,
or German measles vaccine, and the rotavirus vaccines. Another way that you can make a vaccine is
you can take a bacteria that normally makes a toxin, like tetanus, or diphtheria. And
so those bacterial infections are more intoxications, frankly, than they are infections. So you
take the toxin made by those bacteria, and you kill it with a chemical. And then that
becomes your vaccine. And that’s the way the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines are made.
And in some ways the whooping cough vaccine is made similarly too because the whopping
couch bacteria also can make a toxin, and so that is another example of that kind of vaccine. Another way you can make a vaccine is you
can take a bacteria, like the bacteria that causes a meningococcal infection, pneumococcal
infections, another infections caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b. And you take this complex
sugar coating of that bacteria, called polysaccharide, link it to a harmless protein and then that
becomes your vaccine. So another way, yet and finally … the final
way that one can make a vaccine is you can take a virus and instead of weakening it, you can
kill it. And that’s the way that the polio vaccine is made. That’s the way the rabies
vaccine is made. That’s the way the hepatitis A vaccine is made. And one more, there’s one more way that you
can make a vaccine, which is that you can take just a part of the virus. So you just
take one protein from the virus that you know induces an antibody response that can completely
neutralize the virus. And that then becomes your vaccine. And those single protein vaccines
are the hepatitis B vaccine and the human papillomavirus vaccine. Thank you.

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