Vaccination is one of the best methods of protection from highly infectious and sometimes deadly diseases.
Vaccines work by priming your immune system to create special cells (called B and T Cells) which recognise and destroy specific germs. These special cells will remain in your body to protect you in future. Generally, any side effects of vaccination are minor e.g. minor fever, pain/swelling at injection site.
Vaccines are made with a very weak, partial or inactive form of the disease; just enough to trigger your immune system into action.
Scientists continue to improve vaccines. They are working to isolate even more specific components of germs. Vaccines made with these tiny bits of the germs may be more effective and have even fewer side effects.
DNA vaccines are also being developed which are made using genes that code for molecules called proteins. When the DNA vaccine is injected, these proteins are made in the body and trigger a very specific immune response. This technology means that we will be able to produce more effective vaccines and prevent and treat a new suite of diseases.