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Why do some vaccinations last a lifetime while others do not?

Question by NetLabel | 2018-03-24 at 23:26

There are some vaccinations, where one vaccination is enough to protect you for the rest of your life. This does not seem to be the case with other vaccines. You have to refresh some of them every few years or at least at regular intervals. Why is that so?

1Best Answer1 Vote

After a vaccination, the immune system is confronted with the pathogen in a weakened form. As a result, the immune system forms defenses and remembers what has to be done. How well this "remembering" works depends on several factors and results in how long the vaccine can protect.

Vaccinations during which the pathogen is directly injected and the pathogen can even spread a bit (live vaccines) are therefore much more intense and harder than vaccinations, in which the body is confronted with only a few killed pathogens that are degraded relatively quickly (dead vaccines) and where sometimes even several partial vaccinations are required, to have an effect at all.

Depending on what was vaccinated and how the pathogen looks and depending on how intensively the body has dealt with the pathogen, this leads to a different time, the immune system can remember the situation.

And that, in combination with the limitations of today's vaccines, leads to different times for each pathogen type.
2018-03-25 at 19:57

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