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Vaccination is a term coined by Edward Jenner for the ______of administering live, albeit weakened, microbes to patients, with the intent of conferring immunity against a targeted form of a related disease agent. Vaccination (Latin: Vacca-cow) is so named because the first vaccine was derived from a virus affecting cows: the cowpox virus, a relatively benign virus that, in its weakened form, provides a degree of immunity to smallpox, a contagious and deadly disease. In common speech, 'vaccination' and 'immunization' generally have the same colloquial meaning.
Vaccination efforts were initially met with some resistance before early success brought widespread
acceptance and mass vaccination campaigns were undertaken. The eradication of smallpox is considered the most spectacular success of vaccination. The last natural case of smallpox was discovered on October 26, 1977, in Somali(a) This date is considered the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox.
Modern-day critics of vaccination are concerned that childhood vaccination plays a role in autoimmune disease and autism, though large-scale scientific studies have failed to find a link.
In the generic sense, the process of triggering immune response, in an effort to protect against infectious disease, the works by 'priming' the immune system with an 'immunogen'. Stimulating immune response, via use of an infectious agent, is known as immunization. Vaccinations involve the administration of one or more immunogens, in the form of live, but weakened (attenuated) infectious agents, which normally are either weaker, but closely-related species (as with smallpox and cowpox), or strains weakened by some process. In such cases, an immunogen is called a vaccine.
Some modern vaccines are administered after the patient already has contracted a disease, as in the cases of experimental AIDS, cancer and Alzheimer's disease vaccines.Vaccinia given after exposure to smallpox, within the first four days, is reported to eradicate the disease considerably, as vaccination within the first week is thought to be beneficial to a degree. The essential theory behind such immunizations is that the vaccine triggers superior immune response than the natural infection itself.