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Are vaccinations really a safe method of disease prevention?

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  • Essay length: 846 words
  • Submitted: 05/02/2004
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Are vaccinations really a safe method of disease prevention?

Vaccination is a method of disease prevention. Vaccines contain an inactive or weakened form of the bacteria or virus causing the disease which is trying to be prevented. A response is triggered by our body's immune system but the disease is not caused. The production of antibodies is stimulated to help eliminate the bacteria or virus from the body.

Edward Jenner was responsible for disease prevention by vaccination in 1796. He noticed how dairymaids who caught cowpox, a minor disease, never caught smallpox, a fatal disease. He infected a young boy with cowpox and he suffered from it for a short while. Later, he exposed the same boy to smallpox and the boy did not catch it. Cowpox was enough like smallpox for the body to become immune to smallpox. This was the first recorded vaccination (1).

Today, humans around the world are vaccinated against many different diseases, and most people believe them to be safe and effective. But are they? The number of cases of several different fatal diseases has declined and many diseases have been eradicated in the past years, but is

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