How Vaccines Work. A vaccine works by preparing the immune system, including viruses or bacteria, to identify and counter pathogens. For this to happen, certain pathogen molecules must be injected into the body to cause an immune response.
These molecules are called antigens, and are present on both bacteria and viruses. The immune system can easily learn to identify such antigens as aggressive invaders by introducing them into the body, generate antibodies and recall them for the future.
If the bacteria or virus reappears, the immune system automatically recognizes the antigens and actively targets long before the pathogen can spread and cause sickness.
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