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How Vaccines Work
Image: iStockphoto.com/Sean Warren

How Vaccines Work

Before the dawn of vaccines, the human body was left on its own to battle invaders. Vaccines jump-start the immune response so the body can fend off a real attack later.

See how a vaccine mimics the pathogen and triggers a chain reaction in the immune system that the body remembers.

College of Physicians of Philadelphia
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A Worm’s Ovary Cells Become a Flu Vaccine Machine

A Worm’s Ovary Cells Become a Flu Vaccine Machine

The flu vaccine is usually produced in chicken eggs, but this takes a long time — and a lot of eggs. Scientists are exploring whether ovary cells from an army worm could do the job. More...

Article
NPR
How Do Vaccines Work?

How Do Vaccines Work?

In 1796, Edward Jenner created the first vaccine by injecting a small amount of cowpox virus into a young boy. While vaccinations have become more sophisticated, the science remains the same. More...

Video
TED-Ed/Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut
Smallpox: The Speckled Monster

Smallpox: The Speckled Monster

When an English doctor invented vaccination in the late 1700s, he defeated the most terrifying disease of his time, and also brought ridicule onto his own head. More...

Article
Dr. Jenner's House
10 Things to Know About Measles

10 Things to Know About Measles

People who are infected with measles can easily pass the virus to more than a dozen people — their germs from a cough or sneeze can linger for up to 2 hours! Find out more. More...

Article
Science News for Students
Illsville: Fight the Disease

Illsville: Fight the Disease

Help the citizens of Illsville fight diseases through the ages. Diagnose and make recommendations to preserve community health until vaccines arrive. More...

Game
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
On the Edge: Paralyzing Polio

On the Edge: Paralyzing Polio

This comic strip explains the journey to a polio vaccine. More...

Interactive
PBS
What Is Vaccination?

What Is Vaccination?

A weakened or harmless pathogen is injected into the patient’s body and starts the immune response, preparing the body to recognize and attack the active pathogen if infected in the future. More...

Video
BBC
World Health Organization Declares Smallpox Eradicated

World Health Organization Declares Smallpox Eradicated

The only disease to be eradicated via vaccination so far is smallpox. Read more. More...

Article
PBS
Bird Flu!

Bird Flu!

Only you can stop the spread of bird flu. Immunize as many birds as you can before the vaccine runs out. More...

Game
Overload Studios
Eric Chen: Google Science Fair 2013 Global Finalist

Eric Chen: Google Science Fair 2013 Global Finalist

Spurred by how quickly influenza spreads and the rise of new lethal viruses, this 17-year-old developed a novel way to approach fighting the flu. Take a look at his winning work. More...

Profile
Google Science Fair
Future Vaccines

Future Vaccines

Explore the past, present, and future of vaccines with this radio program. More...

Interactive
BBC
History of Vaccines

History of Vaccines

Trace the history of vaccination on this interactive timeline. While you're there, learn about careers in vaccine development, the future of vaccines, and more. More...

Interactive
College of Physicians of Philadelphia
How to Make a Flu Vaccine

How to Make a Flu Vaccine

How do you make the flu vaccine? It takes a whole lot of eggs. More...

Article
Grow Magazine
Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Should you get a flu shot? What options are there? Check out this flu shot fact sheet. More...

Article
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rabies

Rabies

Rabies is easy to prevent with a simple shot, but deadly if contracted. Learn more about this disease. More...

Article
Mayo Clinic
The Beginning of Vaccination

The Beginning of Vaccination

Edward Jenner is credited with the discovery and creation of the first vaccine. He inoculated a small boy with the cowpox virus to protect against the related, but deadlier, smallpox. More...

Video
Science Channel
The Future of Vaccines

The Future of Vaccines

Could vaccines be useful for AIDS, malaria, or cancer? See what the future may hold for vaccines. More...

Article
Vaccines Today
What Vaccines Do You Need?

What Vaccines Do You Need?

Some people need specific vaccines depending on their lifestyle — if they plan to travel to certain places or if they work in a hospital, for example. Find out which ones you need in this handy quiz. More...

Interactive
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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