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#Sample College Essay
Vaccine can be defined as a biological preparation which has been made to improve the body’s immunity against a certain disease. It is usually a replica of the disease-causing microorganism as it’s made from similar microbes, similar toxins or one of its surface proteins (World Health Organization).
The origin of vaccines can be traced back to the times of Pharaoh Rameses who died in 1157 BC after succumbing to smallpox. Small pox is a disease which is caused by the variola virus that enters the body through the lungs then penetrates into the blood stream and into the internal organs which it infects ( Jenner Museum ). Lady Mary Wortley tried introducing variolation which was later applied by Edward Jenner who however did not administer this strategy to his patients because he had had a bad experience after he himself was variolated. Dr. Edward Jenna started experimenting after a cowpox incident which had infected the cow’s udders and he used an 8 year old boy in 1796 who had not been infected with smallpox and rubbed his skin with one of the milkmaid’s hand who had been infected with cowpox. The boy became ill but was well after a few days. Dr. Jenner then proceeded to test whether the boy would contract smallpox by variolating him with smallpox but he did not contract it then and even after several other tests in future therefore establishing that cowpox can be used as a vaccine against smallpox ( Jenner Museum ).
Vaccine’s preparation usually undergoes several phases which include:
Phase I-the vaccine at this stage is determined whether it is safe and whether it can induce an immune response. If it doesn’t meet the above criteria, all the activities towards its development are therefore stopped.
Phase II-further studies are developed here after the vaccine has passed through phase I. the type of people who will be able to use the vaccine based on the information obtained in Phase I is determined and if it’s not safe nor will induce an immune response then it will be abandoned.
Phase III- More than one phase III trials are conducted here across large geographical locations to ensure diversity and to ensure that the vaccine will work on every subject. The vaccine will be assessed by the advisory committee on immunization practices who will advise on how to use the vaccine and by who even if the FDA has approved its use and has worked on the subjects.
Phase IV-further studies will still be conducted here to determine the side effects such as abnormal occurrences which may not have been detected during the other stages to determine the safety of the vaccine. Monitoring of the vaccine will continue until its safety has been ascertained and will therefore be licensed for use (The children's Hospital of Philadelphia).
Vaccines are usually administered through a path through which the vaccine will get into the body. It can be through the muscles (intramuscular injection), the subcutaneous layer (subcutaneous injection), oral administration among others (World Health Organization).
Vaccines are classified according to how the body responds to them and includes:
Live attenuated vaccines- these are usually derived from disease causing bacteria or virus and where these viruses/bacteria are repeatedly cultured in a laboratory.
Inactivated-these are made by growing the virus in culture media then inactivating it with heat and/or formalin especially for fractional vaccines where the organism is further treated to purify the components
Polysaccharides-is the unique type of the inactivated vaccine which contains long chains of sugar molecules which makes up the surface capsule of certain bacteria (Immunisation Advisory Centre).
Common childhood diseases include diphtheria which usually affects the throat and spreads when one coughs or sneezes and can severely damage the heart and the nervous system if not properly treated. It can however be vaccinate DTP or DPT. Another disease includes mumps which leads to the swelling of the cheeks and the neck but can be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine (Baby Centre).
The influenza flu virus is commonly known for causing seasonal flu while H1N1 is just a subtype of the commonly known influenza A which was discovered in 2009 caused by two surface proteins; hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N).
H1N1 or Swine flu as commonly is thought to have been contracted by people who had come in contact with pigs. This was later dismissed as there were people who contracted it even without being in contact with them (WebMD). The common symptoms include nasal secretions, fever, fatigue, headaches, sore throats, body aches and diarrhea and some may develop severe respiratory symptoms therefore needing respiratory support among others (MedicineNet.com). The virus can be contracted when one comes in contact with an infected person or touching the equipments they have used and it is also airborne.
In order to curb the spread of H1N1 strategies have been put in place and include criteria for earlier identification of infected of patients and changes in the isolation strategies as well. Communication channels have been put in place so as to help in spreading information on the preventive and interceptive measures as well as personal preventive equipments (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention).
After injection the vaccine stimulates the B and T cells in the adaptive immune which will enable them recognize and “remember” the flu pathogens attacking the body. The B-cells are composed of antibody-mediated immunity while the T-cells contain cell-mediated antibodies. The vaccine will therefore stimulate the body to produce these antibodies which will fight the flu virus (U.S national Library of medicine).
Many concerns have been raised whether to administer vaccines or not from different factions of the society with some claiming that they contain contraceptives (Tetanus) especially from the churches in Kenya therefore preventing conception which is against nature. However it is important for families to get vaccinated as there are diseases which can be easily contracted such as flu which can be easily prevented through vaccination. Vaccines are important as they help prevent unnecessary wastage of time and money which could have been prevented. People should remember that they are vulnerable to diseases because there are various diseases which can be contracted due to poor immune systems.
People from various backgrounds have their own beliefs and concerns regarding vaccines. Vaccines have helped many people, more so children achieve their full potential in life and become productive members of the society. It is therefore time people examined their beliefs considering the threat of contracting diseases which can be preventable through vaccination.
Jenner Museum . Vaccination: Smallpox-The speckled monster. 2015. 16 April 2015 <www.jennermuseum.com/vaccination.html>.
Baby Centre. Childhood Diseases and their Vaccinations . January 2015. 16 April 2015 <www.babycentre.in/a551962/childhood-diseases-and-their-vaccinations>.
Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Types of influenza viruses. 2014. 16 April 2015 <www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/types.htm?mobile=nocontent>.
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Guidance on Infection control Measures for 2009 H1N1 Influenza in Healthcare Settings, including protection of Healthcare personel. 15 July 201. 16 April 2015 <www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidelines_infection_control.html>.
Immunisation Advisory Centre. Types of Vaccines. 2013. 16 April 2015 <www.immune.org.nz/types-vaccines>.
MedicineNet.com. Swine flu: Read about Symptons, Treatments and and Diagnosis. 2015. 16 April 2015 <www.mediacinenet.com/script/main/mobileart.asp?ariclekey=99529&page=5>.
NHS Choices. Vaccinations: How vaccines work. 4 April 2014. 16 April 2015 <www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/how-vaccines-work.aspx>.
The children's Hospital of Philadelphia. How are vaccines made? April 2013. 16 April 2015 <vec.chop.edu/service/how-are-vaccines-mase.html>.
U.S national Library of medicine. Fundamentals of Vaccine Immunology. March 2011. 16 April 2015 <www.nlbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068582/>.
WebMD. H1N1 flu virus (Swine flu) symptoms,causes, tests and treatments. 2014. 16 April 2015 <www.m.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/h1n1--flu-virus-swine-flu>.
World Health Organization. Module 2-Route of administration: vaccine safety Basics. 2015. 16 April 2015 <vaccine-safety-training.org/route-of-administration.html>.
—. Vaccines . 2015. 16 April 2015 <www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/>.
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