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Keeping Your Immunizations Up to Date
With the recent shift towards natural living as well as the safety concerns regarding the ingredients used in vaccines, many people have started opting for natural immunity over vaccine-induced immunity. Now the question arises is, which one of the two offers more potent protection?
Natural Infections Versus Vaccines — Which Is More Effective?
You may be surprised to know that natural infections do help your body develop stronger immunity than vaccinations. How so? When a virus or infection naturally enters your body, it challenges your immune system to improve its efficiency and quickly adapt to destroy the foreign elements. This is quite different than the vaccination method, where several doses are needed to reach the same level of immunity.
However, this does not discredit the importance of immunizations. There is a crucial difference in the price paid to acquire adequate levels of immunity. A person contracting a disease naturally has a higher amount of virus or bacteria entering his body, which results in higher immune response and an outbreak of more serious symptoms, such as pneumonia from chickenpox, paralysis from polio or birth defects from rubella. Vaccines, on the other hand, are used to insert the smallest amount of viruses or bacteria in your body to generate a successful immunologic response without any severe consequences.
Considering this, and the fact that a person getting vaccinated is usually aware of the amount of dosage and exposure time, we can conclude that immunization is a much safer alternative to develop immunity as compared to natural infections (even if you need to get immunized more than once!).
What Is the Immune System? How Does It Work?
The main function of the immune system is to prevent pathogens (viruses, bacteria and other foreign organisms) from invading your otherwise healthy system. Made up of a vast network of organs, cells and tissues, it acts as a guardian of your body and constantly looks out for enemies that may adversely impact your health.
All immune systems function in the same way. When you use vaccines to develop immunity, you introduce your body to a weakened form of the pathogen. Your immunity system, which has the ability to tell self from non-self, starts creating proteins called antibodies to fight off the invaders and prevent any major or minor ailments.
Although everyone’s immune system is different, it always tends to get stronger with age. As we grow older, we get exposed to numerous pathogens and slowly develop immunity against them. The immune system keeps a copy of every antibody ever produced in the body and quickly deals with the intruder if it ever appears again.