How do vaccines work?

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

July 12th, 2018

Editorial Team

‘To understand how vaccines work, we need to understand the immune system’

Vaccines help to boost the natural immune system, protecting us from some of the viruses and bacteria that can cause diseases. Understanding the immune system is essential to understanding how they do this.

A new video by the Oxford Vaccine Group explains how the body’s immune system recognises ‘foreign invaders’ such as the measles virus or pertussis bacterium.

For information on some of the scientific terms mentioned in the video, check out our glossary.

How are vaccines developed?

By studying the immune system, scientists have developed vaccines that prepare the body to protect itself against viruses and bacteria. New vaccines are rigorously tested before they are recommended by independent experts.

Find out how vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe and effective in this short animation.