|adjuvant: A substance that is used in a
vaccine to increase the immune response to specific vaccine components.
immunizations: Vaccinations that are given to people over
18 years of age, such as booster tetanus shots, annual influenza shots, and
pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine.
|adverse event: Any undesirable side effect that
may result from a vaccination.
|anaphylaxis: An immediate and severe allergic
response; a shock reaction to a substance. This can result in sudden severe
breathing difficulty, severe drop in blood pressure, and/or loss of
consciousness. Anaphylactic shock can kill if not treated promptly. Common
causes of anaphylaxis include bee stings (in people who are allergic to
bees), ingestion of certain foods (by people who are allergic to those
foods), and drug reactions.
general term for the drugs, chemicals, or other substances that kill
microbes, the tiny organisms that cause disease. Among the antimicrobial
agents in use today are antibacterial drugs (which kill bacteria), antiviral
agents (which kill viruses), antifungal agents (which kill fungi), and
antiparisitic drugs (which kill parasites).
|attenuated: Weakened. An attenuated vaccine
is one in which a live virus is subjected to chemical or other processes to
weaken the virus, so that it will produce an adequate immune response
without causing the serious effects of infection.
|bacteria: Tiny organisms that co-exist with
living things everywhere on earth. We tend to think of bacteria as agents of
disease and death, but many bacteria are helpful to life and health. Escherichia
coli, for example, play an important role in the intestines. If these
are killed by an antibiotic, diarrhea can result. However, if this same
bacteria gets into an open wound on the skin, it poses a risk of serious
infection, illness, and death. Bacteria are the agents that cause
diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus (lockjaw), Haemophilus
influenzae, and bacterial pneumonia. Since evidence of the presence of
bacteria were recently found on rocks from Mars, there is evidence that
bacteria may live elsewhere in the universe.
|booster: Additional vaccination that
results in a "boost" of the immune response of a previous
immunizations: A series of immunizations that are given in
routinely in childhood to prevent diseases that pose a threat to children.
In the United States, these currently include diphtheria, tetanus,
pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, Haemophilus
influenzae type b, and varicella (chicken pox).
concept that a community can protect itself against certain diseases by
having a high percentage of its population immunized. Even if a few members
of the community are unable to be immunized, the entire community will be
protected because the disease has so little opportunity for outbreak. The
term "herd immunity" means the same thing. Examples of the key
role of community immunity in limiting disease include pertussis,
diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type b,
and hepatitis B. Tetanus, on the other hand, is transmitted from spores
within soil via skin wounds--not from person to person--thus, the level of
immunity in a community has no impact on risk for tetanus.
or more vaccines combined to be given at one time; for example, the
diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DTP) conjugate. Like the individual vaccines,
conjugate vaccines are developed through scientific research and clinical
trials to be certain that the combination is appropriate, safe, and
effective before it is licensed and released for use by the public.
|conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the eyelid.
Sometimes this condition occurs independently, but it can also occur with
other illness, such as measles.
|disease: Sickness; illness; an
interruption, cessation, or disorder of body functions systems, or organs;
loss of good health.
|encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain and
central nervous system.
|epidemic: An outbreak of disease that
spreads within a specific region or within a country.
|Hib disease: Disease caused by Haemophilus
influenzae type b. Until recently, this disease was the most common
cause of deadly bacterial meningitis in children. It can also cause
infection of the bloodstream, pneumonia, epiglottitis, and otitis media,
among other conditions.
|immune: Protected against a disease as a
result of immunization, previous natural infection, inoculation, or transfer
of protective antibodies. For certain diseases, immune mothers may
temporarily transfer immunity to their newborns as a result of passage of
protective antibodies to the infant via the placenta. Protection can result
from this placental transfer of antibodies for up to 4-6 months.
|immune system: The body's very complex system
for fighting infectious and some chronic diseases.
|immunity: The state of being immune.
|immunization: The process or procedure by which
a subject (person, animal, or plant) is rendered immune, or resistant to a
specific disease. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination
or inoculation, although the act of inoculation does not always result in
|inoculation: An immunization or vaccination
|international importation of
of a disease from a person in one country to people in another country when
that person or group carrying the disease travels and shares the agent that
causes the disease, for example, by sneezing or coughing.
|live vaccine: Vaccine in which the virus that
causes the disease is alive but weakened.
|microorganism: Living organisms (plant or
animal) so small that a microscope is required to see them.
to many antimicrobial drugs. A new strain of pathogen may be resistant to
many or all of the drugs that previously worked against the disease caused
by the pathogen.
|outbreak: Sudden appearance of cases of a
disease in a limited geographic location (for example, a neighborhood,
community, school, or hospital) or population group (for example, school-age
|pandemic: An outbreak of disease that
spreads throughout the world.
|pathogen: Bacteria, viruses, parasites, or
fungi that have the capacity to cause disease in humans.
|quarantine: To isolate an individual who has
a disease or is suspected of having a disease, to prevent spread of the
disease to others; alternatively, to isolate a person who does not have
disease during a disease outbreak, to protect that individual from catching
the disease. Quarantine can be voluntary or, in an emergency, it can be
ordered by public health officials.
|SSPE, or subacute
sclerosing pan-encephalitis: Progressive destruction of nerve cells in
the brain, which results in progressive deterioration of the personality,
behavior, and intellectual abilities; seizures; coma, and death. SSPE is
always fatal. When measles or rubella virus infects brain cells, the immune
system responds by attacking the virus. SSPE is the result of the immune
system activity, not the virus.
|strain: A specific biologic version of a
microorganism. The identity of a strain is defined by its genetic makeup, or
code; changing just one piece of the code produces a new strain. A strain
that responds to a particular drug may evolve to a new strain that does not
respond to the drug.
immunizations: A vaccination or series of vaccinations
given to a person who will be traveling into countries where there is a risk
for acquiring certain diseases.
|vaccination: Injection of a killed or weakened
microorganism or components to prevent the disease caused by that
|vaccine: A product given to produce
immunity. Vaccines can be given by injection (usually in the shoulder,
thigh, or buttocks muscle), by mouth (liquid or pill), or by aerosol. Use of
other needle-less vaccine delivery systems, like jet injection systems, are
being evaluated as methods to efficiently give vaccines.
chart or plan for a series of vaccinations and the ages and/or circumstances
in which they should be given.
|virus: A tiny organism that must get
inside a living cell to grow and reproduce. Viruses cause many types of
illness; for example, varicella virus causes chickenpox, and the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes the autoimmune deficiency syndrome, or
AIDS. Antibiotic drugs, which are designed to kill bacteria, do not get rid
of or cure virus infections. However, vaccines prevent disease caused by the
influenza virus, measles virus, mumps virus, rubella virus, pertussis virus,
and hepatitis B virus. Currently, except for influenza, no specific
anti-viral therapies are available to treat these viral infections.