Difference between immunization and vaccination

VIHC
Vaccine Injury Help Center

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Vaccine Injury Lawyer

Did you know there is actually a difference between immunization and vaccination? Most people don’t realize that when you receive a shot or a vaccine, it does not mean you are immunized. Many people are confused with this concept.

The word “immunization” instead of “vaccination” is now pervasive in both medical and mainstream literature, creating a belief that they are one in the same. But, there is a big difference between the two.

Vaccines contain a dead or live but weakened germ that can cause a particular disease, like tetanus. When we are given a vaccine shot, our body immediately produces antibodies against the antigen or foreign body. It is at this point that most believe the body’s defense mechanism kicks in and immunity will occur in the event that the said antigen gains entry again into the body. But, this is not the case with all vaccines.

Immunization means to make someone immune to something. Vaccination, by contrast, according to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, just means to inject “a suspension of attenuated or killed microorganisms…administered for prevention…or treatment of infectious disease.”

Vaccination does not guarantee immunity. Natural immunity happens only after one recovers from the actual disease. During the disease, the microorganism usually has to pass through many of the body’s natural immune defense systems—in the nose, throat, lungs, digestive tract and lymph tissue—before it reaches the bloodstream. As it does, the microorganism triggers many biological events that are essential in building true natural immunity. When a child gets a new disease, he may feel sick for several days, but, in the vast majority of cases, he will recover.

The Center for Disease and Prevention Control, CDC, actually states on their website, that not all that receive a vaccination will have immunity. When defending what they believe is a misconception that the majority of people who get disease have been vaccinated, they state, “In fact it is true that in an outbreak those who have been vaccinated often outnumber those who have not – even with vaccines such as measles, which we know to be about 98% effective when used as recommended.”

“This is explained by two factors. No vaccine is 100% effective. Most routine childhood vaccines are effective for 85% to 95% of recipients. For reasons related to the individual, some will not develop immunity. The second fact is that in a country such as the United States the people who have been vaccinated vastly outnumber those who have not. Here’s a hypothetical example of how these two factors work together.”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.