Doctor, please help. My son, Timmy, is scared of his first vaccine.
Mommy, I don't want it to hurt!
No need to be afraid Timmy! Vaccines may look scary, but they're here to help!
When bacteria or viruses invade the body, they attack and multiply. The immune system uses white or immune cells, to fight them. These white cells consist primarily of macrophages, B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes.
Macrophages digest germs and leave behind parts of the invading germs called antigens. B-lymphocytes produce antibodies that attack the antigens left behind by the macrophages. T-lymphocytes attack cells in the body that have already been infected.
Exactly! All three are needed to fight infections.
Vaccines develop immunity by imitating an infection, just like how that mime imitates different actions. This causes the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies.
Once the imitation infection goes away, the body is left with a supply of T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight that disease in the future. There are different kinds of vaccines to fight different kinds of diseases.
They're like superheroes fighting the bad guys!
Wow, I never knew that!
Yeah! I wanna fight bad guys and stay healthy!
Isn't it fascinating? Now, are you ready to get your vaccine?