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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are immunisations?

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  • Dr Beth Thomas

    Paediatrician

    Beth works at the Angliss Hospital (Ferntree Gully) which has paediatric inpatients and outpatients and a Special Care Nursery. She also works at Monash Medical … View Profile

    Immunizations are small “tastes” of the virus or bacteria which are given in small doses so that if your body is exposed to the wild-type infection, your immune system will recognize it more quickly and fight it off more efficiently. There are different ways of making immunizations - sometimes the bacteria is killed, some immunizations contained “weakened” or attenuated forms of the virus, and sometimes just the outside “coating” (antigen) is given. In each case the immune system adds the virus or bacteria to your immune memory for quicker recognition and response in case of exposure to the real thing. For some infections (such as tetanus) where treatment is difficult and time is of the essence, prevention is the best way to deal with potential infection.

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