There are several different types of vaccines. Each type is designed to teach your immune system how to fight off certain kinds of germs — and the serious diseases they cause.
When scientists create vaccines, they consider:
Based on a number of these factors, scientists decide which type of vaccine they will make. There are 4 main types of vaccines:
Live vaccines use a weakened (or attenuated) form of the germ that causes a disease.
Because these vaccines are so similar to the natural infection that they help prevent, they create a strong and long-lasting immune response. Just 1 or 2 doses of most live vaccines can give you a lifetime of protection against a germ and the disease it causes.
But live vaccines also have some limitations. For example:
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