What are vaccines?
Inactivated pathogens - vaccines work by introducing an inactivated pathogen/part of pathogen into the body
Triggers - the pathogen will trigger an immune response similar to that generated by a natural infection
Artificial active immunity - hence, vaccines lead to the development of natural antibodies against the targeted disease
How are vaccines made and administered?
Types of vaccines - vaccines may contain a liver microorganism, a dead one, an attenuated one, a toxin or some surface antigens
Administration - vaccines can be given through an intramuscular injection or via oral ingestion (such as the polio vaccine)
The COVID-19 vaccines - these range from RNA sequences coding for proteins of the virus, surface antigens or attenuated microorganisms
Effectiveness - some vaccines may only require one single shot to give lifetime protection, while others need boosters to stimulate further immune responses
Advantages and disadvantages of vaccines
An easy and safe way of immunizing the population against deadly or very severe diseases such as COVID-19
Vaccines have improved the quality of life of the population and have led to the eradication of deadly diseases like smallpox
Some people may not develop an immune response to the vaccine, hence not becoming immune to the disease
Although unlikely, some inactivated viruses can undergo a shift back to their active form, leading to infection
Why are vaccines important?
Providing population immunity
Disease control and eradication
Relatively cheap to manufacture
Safe for most of the population
Allow travel without disease spread
Prevents disease strain on the NHS
"Has the production of the vaccines against COVID-19 been 'too fast' and 'rushed'?"
Top interview tips
Take a moment to think - this is a very controversial topic so make sure to think which ideas are best to include
Prove your knowledge - show that you know the science behind a vaccine and how it is hard to "rush" science
Cover both sides - make sure to mention that you are aware of both sides of the issue and why some people might find those claims true
Stay neutral - as it is a controversial topic, try to keep your own opinions as well and only present reasoned arguments
Brush up your knowledge of the immune system - look at your A-Level notes or at quick YouTube videos
For controversial topics like this - stay neutral and only state the science and not your opinions
For more information - you can use our website www.TheAspiringMedics.co.uk