World Immunisation Week

The World Immunisation Week is celebrated every year in the last week of April. It aims to promote the use of vaccines. This year, in 2021, the World Immunisation Week is to be celebrated under the following theme:

Theme: Vaccines bring us closer

The WHO has partnered with organisations and individuals under theme to achieve the following:

  • To increase trust and confidence in vaccines
  • To increase investment in vaccines and remove barriers

Need for World Immunisation Week

  • There are more than twenty million children in the world that miss out vaccines.
  • During COVID-19, several children missed their measles and polio vaccines.

Working of Vaccines

Vaccines teach the immune system how to act against new diseases. Currently, human body is incapable to fight against COVID-19. This is because, the human immune system is not able to recognise that COVID-19 is dangerous. The COVID-19 vaccines such as COVAXIN and COVISHIELD teach the immune system to identify the virus as invaders and kill them.

A vaccine has two parts namely antigen and adjuvant. Antigen is a piece of the disease-causing parasite. On the other hand, Adjuvant sends danger signals to the body and helps the immune system respond strongly to the antigen.

Ingredients in a Vaccine

Apart from antigens and adjuvant, the vaccine also consists of preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, residuals, diluent. Preservatives are added to prevent the vaccine from becoming contaminated. The Stabilisers are added to prevent the chemical reactions from occurring within the vaccine. Surfactants keep the ingredients in the vaccine blended together. Diluent is a liquid used to dilute the vaccine.

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