Inactivated vaccines are created by killing the virus or bacteria with chemicals, heat, or radiation.
- Inactivated vaccines are more stable and safer than live vaccines. There is absolutely no chance the bacteria or virus in the vaccine can cause disease. The killed viral particles or bacteria are not able to come back to life!
- The virus or bacteria is still recognized as an invader by the body even though it does not cause disease, so the immune system still makes protective antibodies against it.
- The vaccine can be given to people with weakened immune systems
- These vaccines do not usually need to be refrigerated. They can be stored easily and transported when freeze-dried. This makes them great vaccines to use in developing countries.
- Inactivated vaccines often stimulate a much weaker immune response than live vaccines. Therefore, there are typically several doses needed before gaining immunity to a disease. In addition, booster shots are sometimes needed to keep immunity to the disease.
- Without regular access to healthcare, many people are not aware of boosters, or given the opportunity to have the boosters. These people may have a false sense of immunity to these diseases.
Examples of inactivated vaccines:
- Inactivated Polio Vaccine (Salk)
- Hepatitis A Vaccine
- Influenza Vaccine (shot)
- Rabies Vaccine
- Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine
- Inactivated Typhoid Vaccine
- Inactivated Cholera Vaccine
- Plague Vaccine
- Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccine(s)
- The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). www.chop.edu
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). www.cdc.gov
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. National Institutes of Health. www.niaid.nih.gov
- The history of Vaccines. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. www.historyofvaccines.org
- Vaccine Healthcare Centers Network. www.vhcinfo.org