While vaccines are the most effective way to prevent some of the world's most dangerous diseases, certain types, like tetanus and Tdap, require additional levels of protection to work their best. These defenses come in the form of boosters, which, as their name implies, boost the original vaccine dose and ensure the body has adequate levels of the disease antibody.
What You Should Know About Vaccine Boosters
How Vaccines Work
When any vaccine is administered, a small amount of the disease antigen is injected into the body and the immune system fights it by producing antigen-specific memory B cells and T cells that are key to fighting off the disease. This way, if the body encounters the disease again, the immune system will remember how to fight antigens and successfully get rid of them.
Why Some Vaccines Require Extra Support
There’s still uncertainty as to why certain vaccines, such as those for hepatitis A and B, are permanently effective after one dose, while others require periodic boosters.
Scientists believe, however, that the body responds more rapidly to certain diseases than others. If it fights off the antigens too fast, it won’t have sufficient time to commit the proper immunological response to memory, and the number of memory B and T cells will slowly dwindle over time. The booster will provoke the body to generate more of these cells.
The process may also be related to age. As humans grow older, the immune system slows, and it may be less effective at combating illnesses. Boosters provoke additional immune responses, reminding the body of what antibodies it needs to produce to ward off illnesses.
How often boosters are needed varies by disease, and researchers are continually studying and reassessing the recommended schedule as they learn more about immunity.
Stay healthy and safe by following the recommended booster schedule with a trusted provider. HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA, serves the Fairfax County region with enhanced immune protection, including adult vaccinations, flu shots, and travel preparations. To schedule an appointment, call them today at (703) 961-0733. Visit their website to learn more about their services.