This year has been a groundbreaking year for so many different aspects of scientific breakthroughs. Many new processes have been developed from creating new vaccines to cosmetic developments such as the microcannulas method which allows fillers to be performed without sharp needles.
For those of you who don’t know most of the complications related to having fillers is due to the sharpness of the needle so this development will make receiving filler much safer. We’re going to discuss vaccines and the latest breakthrough but you can read more about the microcannula technique here if you’re interested in this too. Vaccines have been around for a very long time, the very first vaccine was created hundreds of years ago in 1796 by a man named Edward Jenner.
He developed a vaccine to try and help the fight against cowpox and smallpox which were both common diseases at the time, the first-ever vaccine on record was administered in Berkeley, England by Edward Jenner. Vaccines have come a long way since 1796 and have helped to eliminate many deadly diseases from the human population, scientists are always working on new vaccines for diseases that don’t yet have a cure. Many people have been trying to get a deeper understanding of how vaccines work and how they’re produced after a vaccine was found for the coronavirus in record time, vaccines usually take years to get approval but within a year a vaccine has been improved. We’re going to explain all the basics you need to know about vaccinations.
How do they work?
Vaccines work by triggering a response from your immune system. If you suffer from any illness then your body’s immune system works hard to fight off any attacking bacteria to prevent any serious harm from coming to you.
Once your body has fought off an illness there are memory cells within the immune system which means if the same bacteria attacks again they’ll be able to fight it off much quicker. Vaccines work by injecting a weakened or dead form of bacteria into you, this causes the immune system to respond without you getting sick. Then if your body does get attacked by an alive version of the virus your immune system will already know how to fight off the attackers. This is the basic concept of how a vaccine works and how it leads to immunity.
How are they produced?
Vaccines have to go through rigorous testing before they can be stamped with approval and administered. There are many phases this testing must go through, the journey starts with a pre-clinical phase where scientists determine which antigen should be used to provoke a response from your immune system. This is then tested on animals and if there is an immune response the testing will continue to the next phase which is testing on humans, this happens in three phases.
The first phase usually involves testing on young, healthy, and fit volunteers to see what the optimal dosage is, if it provokes a response in humans as well as animals and if there are any harmful side effects. If it’s deemed safe following this then it moves on to phase 2 which will increase the number of volunteers being tested on and include volunteers from the group that the vaccine is being developed for.
Finally, if it passes phase 2 then phase 3 expands testing from hundreds of volunteers to thousands. Phase 3 also usually has volunteers from more than one country and many areas within a country to check it is safe for all. It usually takes around 10 years for a vaccine to be approved.