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Vaccines are a symbol of progress, and their appearance in 1796 was one of the greatest health milestones in history. From a conceptual point of view, vaccines are products (antigens) that, administered from the outside, trigger a defense-building response (antibodies) by the body. This formative response implies that the body is immunized against specific pathogens.
Based on their composition, different types of vaccines are recognized:
1. Live Germ Vaccines attenuated, such as that which confers protection against measles, rubella and mumps.
2. Vaccines that contain microorganismsinactive, such as hepatitis A.
3. The vaccines that includetoxoid, such as tetanus or diphtheria.
4. Vaccines that have cell fragments, the so-called 'acellular', such as whooping cough.
5. Vaccines made with modified genetic material (called 'recombinant', like that of hepatitis B).
The pediatric associations of each country recommend a specific chronological schedule for administering the vaccines, based on international recommendations.
Despite the recent boom in the 'anti-vaccine trend', vaccines have a high safety profile and a low rate of side effects and complications.
The administration of vaccines is not usually mandatory in most nations, although in some places, such as Australia, not vaccinating children entails a tax penalty for parents. And it is that vaccinating children represents, beyond the individual advantage of protecting the smallest, an act of solidarity, since it encourages the global disappearance of diseases.
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