Preventive vaccine vs therapeutic vaccine


November 22nd, 2013

A preventative vaccine is administered to a person who is free of the targeted infection. By introducing a part of the virus or an inactive virus (which acts like a decoy) into the body, the immune system reacts by producing antibodies. If, years later, the virus enters the organism, these antibodies will recognize and destroy it.

A therapeutic vaccine is administered to a person afflicted with a chronic viral infection, against which naturally produced antibodies are ineffective. In other words, therapeutic vaccines aim to increase the activity of the body’s natural defenses.

There is still no vaccine for HIV. The majority of current research efforts focus on therapeutic forms.

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