Vaccinations create antibodies that are able to effectively ward off infectious diseases. Antibiotics are more commonly used in a curative capacity to combat the disease itself, though at times an antibiotic may be used in a preventive capacity.
Both vaccinations and antibiotics are of vital importance in preventing and curing diseases which otherwise would have accounted for hundreds of millions of deaths annually.
Antimicrobial substances produced by living microorganisms are used as antibiotics. These are used to fight, and at times prevent infectious disease. Their action is to inhibit the growth of the source organism of infection. Some antibiotics work against a large range of infectious agents which is why they are known as ‘broad spectrum’ antibiotics. Others are more disease specific. Many disease-producing and infecting microorganisms have no antibiotics known to be effective against them. They are hence responsible for a number of deaths. One such infectious disease is HIV AIDS.
Vaccines on the other hand are produced either from dead organisms or living attuned organisms. Vaccines are administered to kindle the immunity to infection by the same organism from which they are produced or those closely related. There is a wide variation in the effectiveness of vaccines with different diseases.
The smallpox vaccine has proved highly effective. It is believed the disease has been totally eradicated from the planet. The measles vaccine too is very successful proven by the high antibody count that remains effective for 8 to 10 years.
The influenza vaccine however offers immunity, but rarely longer than a period of a year. The influenza virus mutates frequently requiring a constant research in vaccines to offer resistance to new strains.
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