Immunization is a process that helps your body fight off diseases caused by certain viruses and bacteria.
- Immunity can occur naturally or by exposing your body to vaccines through injections ('shots), orally (by mouth) or by nasal spray.
- Vaccines help to build immunity against certain diseases that your body has trouble fighting on its own.
Antibodies and the Role they Play
- Vaccines contain tiny amounts of material that make your immune system produce certain proteins called "antibodies".
- Antibodies can attack and destroy viruses and bacteria.
- Your immune system stores this information on how to make these antibodies. Later -- even many years later -- when your body is exposed to that same bacteria or virus, it "remembers" how to make these antibodies. Your body produces those antibodies again, stopping the virus or bacteria from making you sick.
Immunization Protects Us AllImmunization protects both individuals and the larger population by preventing the spread of infections. It is important to achieve and maintain high immunization coverage in order to provide the best protection against vaccine preventable diseases.
Last Updated: December 5, 2013