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1.2 What are active and passive vaccination?




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This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

1.2 What are active and passive vaccination?

Active immunization involves trying to stimulate antibodies by giving
a person a killed or weakened form of a disease-causing agent. Passive
immunization involves giving a person antibodies from someone who was
infected with the disease (these are called gamma globulins). Passive
immunization doesn't last very long, but can be useful for someone who
expects to be exposed to a disease (e.g. someone travelling to another
country who takes hepatitis A gamma globulin right before leaving), or
to someone who has just been exposed to a disease. Most of the
vaccinations discussed in this FAQ fall under the active vaccination
category.

 

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