Vaccines protect children and adults from numerous diseases and are considered one of the best ways to do so. Vaccinations ensure that individuals are not easily susceptible to foreign or local viruses which can be severe or even fatal.
Are you interested in the pharmaceutical research and development field? Keep reading for some fascinating information on vaccines and the vaccination process.
What are Vaccines and What Do They Do?
For the body to successfully fight off certain diseases, it can be beneficial for the immune system to recognize the type of germs and bacteria it is being exposed to in order to produce stronger defences. A vaccine is a shot that is composed of dead or weakened germs in small amounts, and is injected into people to prime their immune systems for specific viruses.
Once the dead or weakened virus enters the body, the immune system begins to develop antibodies and immune memory. Through this response, the body remembers the virus and develops the proper antibodies to defend itself if it is exposed to it in the future. In the absence of the vaccine, a person exposed to a virus in a strong state may find it difficult for their immune system to fight off the disease. This occurs due to the rapid multiplication of germs in the active virus.
Administering a vaccine is usually a simple procedure. Most are given in shot form with the use of a needle and injected into the upper arm or thigh. Other vaccination forms can be administered either orally or nasally with doses containing either several diseases at once or a specific virus.
What Steps are Involved in the Vaccine Development Process?
There are a few steps that occur before a vaccine can be made and administered for public use that students graduating from an R&D pharmaceutical program should know. In brief, the initial step involves growing the virus or bacteria that causes the disease and generating the antigen (a substance that provokes a response from the immune system) with the use of cells. The second step focuses on isolating the antigen from the cells. Pharmaceutical researchers then proceed to the strengthening phase, which includes the addition of an adjuvant in order to enhance the response from the immune system. In some cases, stabilizers or preservatives may also be added to prolong shelf-life and improve safety.
How Pharmaceutical School Graduates help in Vaccine Development
Before any form of treatment or disease prevention methods can be administered to the public, they must undergo a series of tests and research in order to qualify for use in Canada. Professionals who have obtained a pharmaceutical research and development diploma possess the aptitude and qualifications to monitor the use and safety of these new treatments. They also observe the reactions of patients given vaccines in order to report the findings to healthcare authorities.
All of these details within the development process must be communicated with the proper officials to adequately and effectively deal with any unusual or unexpected reactions. By performing the necessary steps in the process, it opens the door for vaccine validation and large scale manufacturing.
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