Tag Archives: Jenner

An Overview of Vaccines

A few days ago, a friend kindly broke my long writer’s block (so many subjects, so little time), with a question about vaccines. She had heard a radio ad for a study in which a new AIDS vaccine candidate would be tested. The ad stated that the vaccine was perfectly safe. Is that possible, she inquired? While I can’t speak to that particular vaccine in question, I thought I’d provide a dose of my knowledge on the kinds of vaccines and how they might (or might not) be safe, effective, useful, and so on.

Vaccines are a rapidly expanding field of the medical world, and there are many family practice jobs like the ones from Leap Doctor and research jobs available specifically in vaccine study. Most of us have a working definition of vaccine: that shot they give you so you don’t get sick. This is a good generalization for the everyday person. Of course, vaccines can be given orally (polio), nasally (mostly experimental), by gene gun (also experimental), as well as via injection. And there’s different types of injection from the “stab-and-jab” of the subcutaneous (aka: anywhere under the skin) injection, to the more carefully poked intravenous (aka: into the blood) injection. Beyond that, vaccines are indeed supposed to prevent illness, in essence, by giving you a little bit of what could ail you in an attempt to get your body on the permanent alert.