When your child is going to the doctor to receive a vaccine it is important to understand what your health care provider is talking about. We at the Vaccine Injury Help Center created a glossary of terms to help you:
Combination vaccines (more than one virus or bacteria, such as MMR which contains measles, mumps and rubella viruses).
Inactivated vaccines – Inactivated vaccines contain dead or inactive bacteria or viruses. These vaccines can be safely given to individuals with weakened immune systems. However, for such individuals, additional (booster) doses may be required to achieve immunity (protection).
Live-attenuated vaccines – Live-attenuated vaccines contain a living bacteria or virus that has been weakened in the laboratory so that it doesn’t cause the actual disease in individuals with healthy immune systems.
Multi-valent vaccines – The reason why people get sick from the flu every year is that the virus changes every season. This means the the flu virus has many strains or types. Multi-valent vaccines contain several strains such as the seasonal influenza vaccine which has three strains of influenza.
Single valent vaccines – The reason why people get sick from the flu every year is that the virus changes every season. This means the the flu virus has many strains or types. Single valent vaccines contain one strain of the bacteria or virus.
Subunit inactivated vaccines – subunit inactivated vaccines contain just a portion or a “subunit” of the disease-causing bacteria or virus is needed to provide protection.
Toxoids – some bacteria cause illness by secreting a poison or toxin. Scientists discovered that inactivating the toxins, to create toxoids, and administering the toxoid can also protect individuals against the disease.