RUSSELL D. CURTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSSELL D. CURTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vaccination. A young schoolboy is given an oral vaccination. He is swallowing pink liquid from a tiny plastic vial held in his mouth by a nurse. Vaccinations sensitize the body's immune system to specific diseases, giving long-term resistance. A sample of the disease-causing organisms is made harmless and given to the patient. After several days, the patient's body makes antibodies that attack the organism, and these stay in the body for years to provide an instant defence against future infection. Vaccination programmes have nearly eradicated a host of diseases from developed countries, such as smallpox. The most common oral vaccination given to children is for poliomyelitis.
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