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How Vaccines Work

29th April 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • vaccine: a substance that helps people develop immunity to a virus
  • trigger: to cause something
  • immune system: the system that protects the body from disease
  • antibody: a protein made in the blood that fights infections
  • imitate: to simulate or resemble something
  • inactive: not infectious; causes no symptoms
  • inject: to use a syringe to put medicine in the body

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

Vaccines are some of the best methods for preventing . The reason vaccines are so effective is that they trigger the body’s natural immune to viruses. When a person becomes infected with a new disease, their body recognizes that the virus is . The immune system then works to fight off the virus by producing antibodies. After recovering from a sickness, your body will remember how to fight it off if you are ever infected again. This provides a temporary immunity to the virus that you were exposed to. A vaccine works by imitating a real infection. Most vaccines contain a weakened or inactive version of the virus they are meant to against. When this virus is injected into the body, the immune system believes that it is harmful and attempts to fight it off. Because the immune system now recognizes this virus, it will remember how to antibodies if you are ever exposed to the real virus. This way, you can be protected from disease without being infected first.

Comprehension questions

1. Vaccines are effective because

Correct! Wrong!

Vaccines are effective because they trigger the body's immune response.

2. Most vaccines contain

Correct! Wrong!

Most vaccines contain weak or inactive viruses.

3. The immune system responds to a vaccine by

Correct! Wrong!

The immune system responds to a vaccine by producing antibodies.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. In some places, vaccines are a controversial subject. Some people are uncomfortable with putting unfamiliar substances into their bodies. Do you think these people are right to be concerned, or is disease prevention more important?

Transcript

Vaccines are some of the best methods for preventing disease. The reason vaccines are so effective is that they trigger the body’s natural immune response to viruses. When a person becomes infected with a new disease, their body recognizes that the virus is unfamiliar. The immune system then works to fight off the virus by producing antibodies. After recovering from a sickness, your body will remember how to fight it off if you are ever infected again. This provides a temporary immunity to the virus that you were exposed to. A vaccine works by imitating a real infection. Most vaccines contain a weakened or inactive version of the virus they are meant to protect against. When this virus is injected into the body, the immune system believes it is harmful and attempts to fight it off. Because the immune system now recognizes this virus, it will remember how to produce antibodies if you are ever exposed to the real virus. This way, you can be protected from disease without being infected first.


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