Inoculation is a method used to initiate your body’s natural ability to fight off foreign invaders. These foreign bodies include but are not limited to things like bacteria, viruses, germs or microbes. These entities can have deleterious effects on the human body. When someone receives a vaccine, a chain of events is initiated that allows the body to create a defense mechanism to fight off a specific pathogen. This is known as the body’s adaptive or specific immunity (Anie, 2018) and, to get very specific, vaccination is the primary form of artificially induced active immunity (Martini, Ober, Nath, Bartholomew, & Petti, 2015).
This means that the pathogen was intentionally introduced into the body to illicit the immune system to act against it. Vaccines contain components that resemble or are versions of a pathogen. An inactivated vaccine contains killed copies of a pathogen, while attenuated or live vaccines usually contain weakened versions of live microbes. Sometimes an adjuvant is used in combination with a vaccine which increases the response of the immune system to the vaccine (Martini et al., 2015). The Flu shot is something that millions of people get every year to prevent them from catching Influenza.
The flu vaccination contains dead influenza virus pieces, and these pieces could be considered antigens. When these antigens enter the body they cause the immune system to activate. The immune system contains cells that have specifically matured to communicate information about defense against foreign bodies. Two of the primary immune cells are B cells (bursa-derived cells) and T cells (Thymus cells) (Martini et al., 2015). B cells are involved with the production of antibodies, and this is known as humoral immunity (Martini et al., 2015).
T cells are the specific immune cells that are responsible for cell-mediated immunity which is the type of immunity that utilizes cells other than antibodies to fight antigens (Martini et al., 2015). The immune system creates specific proteins, known as antibodies or immunoglobulins, to act against the introduced pathogen based on the information the body gets from the dead flu pieces (Martini et al.
, 2015). Whenever the flu virus enters the body again, our immune system recognizes the genetic material and produces and sends out the antibodies it previously learned to make. This is a phenomenon known as specificity which means the body sends out specific antibodies against specific pathogens (Martini et al., 2015).