How vaccines work
The concept behind vaccines is simple; a weakened pathogen used to mount an immune response needed to fight the same disease next time. Thanks to immunisation practices, infectious diseases like polio and smallpox that once obliterated communities have almost been eradicated. Many others like measles, mumps, and whooping cough, are also under control.
Development journey of a vaccine
The journey of vaccine development begins with identifying the disease-causing agent that scientists can manipulate to develop Live Attenuated Vaccines or Inactivated Vaccines. Genetic engineering technologies can also be used to develop modified versions.
While the antigens in vaccine formulations evoke the immune response, without adjuvants, emulsifiers and stabilisers vaccines would not work.
Quality control and regulation
As a biological product, vaccines require special quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) mechanisms to ensure their safety. Global guidelines exist to ensure standards, while several in vitro and in vivo tests determine the quality and potency of finished products.
Every vaccine has to clear pre-clinical and clinical trials before it can be licensed for use and sale. However, manufacturers can carry out additional tests to continue monitoring safety, efficacy, and other potential uses for the product.
Storage and transport
Vaccines naturally biodegrade over time and can lose their effectiveness faster if they become too hot or cold. If stored or transported outside of cold chain temperatures, vaccines also lose their product license and can no longer be used. Today, with advanced instrumentation it is possible to better monitor and maintain temperature control – enhancing safety and traceability.
Immunisation is one of modern medicine’s greatest success stories; it not only prevents sickness and death but also holds up broader gains in education and economic development all over the world.
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For any queries and product needs for vaccine development, please contact a Cole-Parmer representative in your region.
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