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Making Vaccines

Here are the instructions you need to create six different types of vaccines. To find out how a vaccine is made, select a pathogen below.

Smallpox icon
Similar-pathogen vaccine:
smallpox virus
  Measles icon
Attenuated vaccine:
measles virus
  Polio icon
Killed vaccine:
polio virus
Tetanus icon
Toxoid vaccine:
  Hepatitis icon
Subunit vaccine:
hepatitis B
  HIV icon
Naked-DNA vaccine:

Live vaccines contain living pathogens. These pathogens invade cells within the body and use those cells to produce many copies of themselves, just as their more harmful counterparts would. The "similar pathogen" and "attenuated" vaccines discussed in this feature are examples of live vaccines. Although these vaccines trigger a full immune response, there is a small risk of the viruses within evolving into more-virulent strains. Non-live vaccines contain agents that do not reproduce in the body. "Killed," "subunit," and "toxoid" are examples of non-live vaccines. These vaccines trigger a partial immune response. Genetic vaccines are non-live vaccines that trigger a full immune response.

The procedures outlined in this feature have been greatly simplified. Also, some steps are meant to show what is done but not how. For example, a gene cannot be plucked out of DNA using tweezers, and there's no box-like device called a purifier that can extract toxins from bacteria as well as viruses from pus.

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