Last modified

July 25, 2023 @ 15:37 PM

There’s no shortage of jargon when it comes to discuss issues around vaccination, so we’ve compiled a list explaining commonly terms to help demystify the subject.

Side effects

Vaccines, like all medicines, go through rigorous testing before they are approved. They are also continually monitored for safety. Health authorities also note that the decision not to immunise a child also involves risk and can put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting serious diseases.

When side effects occur, they are usually minor and pass within a few days (e.g. redness at the injection site, a sore arm or low-grade fever).

More information on specific side effects can be found in product information leaflets and from companies, regulators and health authorities. In the US, for example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled a list of side effects that can occur with particular vaccines.

Specific immune system

Network of cells consisting of B and T cells and antigen-presenting cells that takes several days or more to respond to an infection the first time, but which responds more quickly and powerfully the next time.


A chemical additive that helps a vaccine stay potent during shipping and storage


Free from living organisms or contaminants.