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This content is taken from the BSAC & Public Health England's online course, Preventing and Managing Infections in Childcare and Pre-school. Join the course to learn more.

Vaccinations, how they work and why they are important

We will now focus briefly on the importance of vaccines. Vaccines keep us from catching dangerous infections and help us avoid the need for medical treatments like antimicrobials.

How Vaccines work

Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating dangerous microbes that our bodies may be exposed to.

  • Once the immune system is exposed to the dead or disabled microbes in vaccine, the body will remember how to fight that disease in the future.
  • Sometimes vaccines can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.
  • To build up immunity you may need more than one dose

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

A PDF summary of the video can be found in the downloads section below.

More information about vaccines can be found on the NHS website.

Vaccines can be given in different ways, by injection, in drops or nasally.

two images - first is vaccination being administered by injection, the second is vaccination being administered nasally

Images of vaccinations being administered by injection and nasally. Images by CDC on Unsplash.

The vaccine schedule for children in the UK can be found here.

Are there any common misconceptions about vaccines you come across in your setting? Share your answers in the comments below.

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This article is from the free online course:

Preventing and Managing Infections in Childcare and Pre-school