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Live attenuated/Inactivated vaccines

This article discusses the advantages and limitations of live attenuated and inactivated vaccines.
person in lab wearing a face shield and injecting liquid into an egg
© Unsplash photo by CDC
Live attenuated vaccines are made from the whole SARS-CoV-2 virus which is modified so it is less infectious and incapable of causing disease, but still stimulates an immune response.

Live attenuated vaccines are the basis of successful vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella which are widely used and safe. As these vaccines include live virus, a small risk of infection and disease remains, meaning this type of vaccine is not generally recommended for individuals with compromised immune systems.

Advantages Limitations
Immune response to the whole virus and not just a specific antigenic target Live vaccines have the potential to cause infection in those with impaired immune system
Generate potent and long-lived responses  

Inactivated vaccines are made from the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has been treated with heat or chemicals so that the virus has no infectious potential but still stimulates an immune response.

Live attenuated and inactivated vaccines have been widely used and are well understood. We will now look at RNA/DNA vaccines, which are a relatively new type of vaccine.

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