When foreign microbes try to invade us, our immune systems trigger a series of innate responses in an attempt to identify and remove them from our bodies. The symptoms we experience when we’re ill such as; coughing, sneezing, inflammation and fever, are actually a sign that our immune system is functioning properly. This response works to trap, deter and rid the body of threatening things like bacteria and viruses. This brings us to vaccination.
These innate immune responses trigger our second line of defence; our adaptive immune system. At this stage, special cells called B-cells and T-cells are recruited to fight microbes as well as record information about them, thus creating a memory of what they look like and how to best fight them in case that same pathogen tries to invade the body again.
Despite this smart response, there is still some risk involved; the body takes time to learn how to respond to pathogens and to build up its defences. Therefore, if a body is too weak or too young to fight back when its invaded, it might face very serious harm if the pathogen is particularly severe. But what if we could prepare the bodies immune response and ready it before someone even got ill? This is where vaccines come in. Using the same principals that the body uses to defend itself, doctors use vaccines to trigger the body’s adaptive immune system without exposing humans to the full-strength disease.
Vaccination in Canada
This has resulted in many vaccines which each work uniquely to trigger an immune response and teach the body how to recognize and attack by making a profile of pathogens in preparation. While vaccination is not mandatory in Canada, it is highly recommended by the medical community and (in most cases) free of charge. Please do not hesitate to get yours, and make sure your relatives and children are vaccinated as well.
PS: Check out our prevention articles HERE!