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Anna 6, SLS43-10 As early as A.D

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Anna McGillis                                                                                                            1-18-18 IMMUNE SYSTEM
PROJECT                                                              Period 6, SLS43-10

As early as A.D 1000, people in India, China, and
Africa would expose themselves to mild cases of smallpox in order to acquire
immunity for the disease. This is where the idea of vaccinations first
originated. It has been theorized that ancient civilizations such as China,
India, and Persia have been practicing vaccination since 1000 B.C. They used a
process called variolation in which patients would be injected with a sample of
the disease in an open wound on their body. This process can be effective in developing
immunity, yet some experience a harmful attack since the disease is still
alive. These theories have never been proved true, but the first recorded
creation of a vaccine was by Edward Jenner who was born May 17th in Berkeley,
Gloucestershire. Orphaned at an age of five, Edwards interest in science was
always a constant in his life. He started as a surgeon’s apprentice and later
studied anatomy and surgery at St. George’s Hospital, London with surgeon John
Hunter. Edward returned to Berkeley in 1772 to practice general medicine and
surgery as a local doctor. Edward continued his research on vaccinations during
his career until 1796 when he tested his vaccination on an eight-year-old boy.
He inserted the pus from a cow pustule into the arm of the boy, and his theory
was proved right as he never contracted the cowpox disease. In 1797 Edward
submitted his findings on vaccinations to the Royal Society but was told that
there was not enough proof. Edward Jenner was driven to justify his findings so
he began to test on many other children including his own 11-month old son. In
1798 he was able to publish findings and called his treatment a vaccine due to
the word for cow in Latin being ‘Vacca.’ Once published many people did not
agree with his means of testing with material from a diseased animal. Edward
did not stop his research and was able to spread vaccinations due to their
evident benefits. He died on the 26th of January, 1823.

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Vaccines work by injecting weakened or dead
microbes into healthy individuals. The weakened microbes do not cause disease
but their antigens trigger immune responses as it would to a real infection. The
immune system produces memory cells which create immunity against ensuing exposure
to the living and dangerous microbes. Using genetic engineering tailor-made
vaccines can be made. You can do this by synthesizes the antigenic proteins of
the disease-causing microbes. The antigens are used as vaccines and do not need
to be injected along with a weakened or dead microbe. The second way you can do
this is by inserting genes that encode the antigens into the genome of harmless
microbes. The “designer” microbes produce antigens without causing
the disease.

Measles was one of the most contagious viruses
during the 20th century. Measles has been speculated to have been around since
the 9th century due to a Persian doctor writing a paper on encountering a
disease which resembles measles. By 1912, 6,000 measles deaths were expected
per year and measles was labeled as an official problem to the Unites states.
By 1963, a vaccine for measles was created by John Enders with the help of his
colleagues. The CDC struggled in their fight against measles but were able to
decrease the number of reported measles cases by 80% in 1981. By 2000 measles
was said to be eradicated. In the recent years, evidence suggests that this is
not the case. In 2013 measles cases in the states tripled, even though 90% of
the American population does have their vaccinations. On March 7th of 2014,
there has been an outbreak of an outbreak of measles in northern Manhattan and
the Bronx. Canadian officials also reported that five new cases of measles were
reported to be in in British Columbia. 2014 itself has been reported to have
667 cases of measles from 27 different states. No number of cases has been this
high in the states since 2000. In 24 states and the District of Columbia, 188
cases of measles were reported in 2015. In 2016 there were 86 cases from 16
states. In 2017 there were 120 cases from 15 states.

The flu virus is a very common in the United
States. It is recommended that people get a shot every year in preparation for
flu season. Though seen as harmless, the flu virus may actually be
life-threatening to the elderly due to the degrading of the immune response.
There are three different ways that the flu vaccine is made. The first and most
common way is egg-based flu vaccines. This is used to make both the inactive
vaccine, called the flu shot, and the live, weakened flu vaccine, also known as
a nasal spray. The production is started by providing private sector
manufacturers with the candidate vaccine viruses. The candidate vaccine viruses
are then implanted into fertilized hen’s eggs. The virus replicates itself over
a time period of a couple days. The fluid containing the virus is then taken
out of eggs and the virus antigen is purified and tested. The second way to
create the flu vaccine is with cell-based flu vaccines.  First, cell-grown candidate vaccine viruses
are treated in cultured mammalian cells and replicate over a few days. The
virus-containing fluid is collected from the cells, and the antigen is purified
and tested until release. The third and final approved method are recombinant
flu vaccines. It starts with isolating a certain protein from a vaccine virus
which will be combined with another virus that grows well in insect cells.
After the potential vaccine fuses with the insect cells it replicates. The
protein is taken from the insect cells and packaged and purified.

The flu vaccine is not always effective. This can
be for a number of reasons, but the main one is the flu virus is fastest mutating
viruses out there. The virus can change to a point that memory cells can no
longer identify the flu virus. More reasons for it failing is that you can
acquire the flu virus too quickly, or you can contract the flu virus after too
much time has passed between the vaccination and infection. The vaccine will
not remain effective for long periods of time. The memory cell’s life span is
not infinite. If you get the flu virus before two weeks after the vaccination
it will not be effective. Your body has not had enough time to develop an
immune response.

Many life-threatening diseases have been prevented
from causing outbreaks using vaccines. Over 14 childhood diseases now can be
treated with vaccines. Some diseases are harder to solve. An example of this is
HIV. When someone contracts HIV, your body does not create the same immune
response that it would with a regular virus. HIV attacks helper T cells which
are responsible for most of the immune response. Helper T cells also help in
creating memory cells which remember the disease. The virus kills the cells
that a vaccine would induce to create an immune response.

Anti-vaccination
movements have been around for a long time, even dating back to the time of
smallpox in England. The Vaccination Acts of 1853 and 1867 required children to
receive vaccines after Edward Jenner had created them. In response to this The
Anti Vaccination League, Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League, and many
anti-vaccination journals were created as a backlash. These anti-vaccination
movements are dangerous though. Viruses or bacteria begin to become immunized
if the amount of people vaccinated in a population is high enough. An example
can be polio. Polio was slowly becoming obsolete once about 70% of the populace
were given their vaccines. The percentage is proportionate though, as less
contagious diseases would need fewer people to be immunized in order for the
spread to slow. The reasons that people choose for their children or themselves
not to get vaccines are established on misguided decisions. Some of these
reasons include that people believe that if the disease isn’t common, then
there is no reason to be afraid. Other decisions are based on fear. Since 1998,
vaccines have been speculated to cause autism. This is based on little
evidence, yet the fear of getting autism causes many people to avoid vaccines.
Without vaccines, many diseases thought to be under control could appear again,
just like the previously mentioned measles. Diseases that cause death and
destruction. In order to fight these accusations, more dependable information is
required to be provided to people so they will not have fear of vaccines,
something that can save their lives.

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