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the process of rendering a subject immune, or of becoming immune. Called also inoculation and vaccination. The word vaccine originally referred to the substance used to immunize against smallpox, the first immunization developed. Now, however, the term is used for any preparation used in active immunization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice that reviews childhood immunization schedules yearly. The recommended childhood immunization schedule is reprinted in Appendix 7-1. In Canada, the Health Protection Branch Laboratory Center for Disease Control, Health Canada, National Advisory Committee on Immunization publishes a recommended childhood vaccination schedule for Canada (reprinted in Appendix 7-3). Adult immunization schedules for the United States and Canada are found in Appendices 7-2 and 7-4.
active immunization stimulation with a specific antigen to promote antibody formation in the body. The antigenic substance may be in one of four forms: (1) dead bacteria, as in typhoid fever immunization; (2) dead viruses, as in the Salk poliomyelitis injection; (3) live attenuated virus, e.g., smallpox vaccine and Sabin polio vaccine (taken orally); and (4) toxoids, altered forms of toxins produced by bacteria, as in immunization against tetanus and diphtheria.

Since active immunization induces the body to produce its own antibodies and to go on producing them, protection against disease will last several years, in some cases for life.

Active immunization is not without risks, although research supports the efficacy of immunization programs as a measure to reduce the incidence of infectious disease. Paradoxically, the more successful an immunization program and the higher the immunization rate, the more likely it becomes that a vaccine will cause more illness and injury than its target disease. Thus the risk of disease is less threatening than the risk of an adverse reaction to the vaccine that will prevent it.

In an effort to immunize larger numbers of children against preventable infectious diseases public health officials and health care professionals in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam now enforce laws requiring children to be immunized before they enter school. Those children who come to school with incomplete or nonexistent records of immunizations are refused admittance until they are immunized.

Circumstances that require postponement of immunization include acute febrile illness, immunologic deficiency, pregnancy, immunosuppressive therapy, and administration of gamma globulin, plasma, or whole blood transfusion 6 to 8 weeks prior to the scheduled immunization.

Because of their potential for triggering anaphylaxis in hypersensitive persons, all immunizing agents should be given with caution and only after a health history has been completed on the patient. Emergency equipment and drugs should be readily at hand in all clinics and other facilities where immunizing agents are administered.
passive immunization transient immunization produced by the introduction into the system of pre-formed antibody or specifically sensitized lymphoid cells. The person immunized is protected only as long as these antibodies remain in his blood and are active—usually from 4 to 6 weeks.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


Protection of susceptible patients from communicable diseases by administration of a living modified agent (for example, yellow fever vaccine), a suspension of killed organisms (for example, pertussis vaccine), a protein expressed in a heterologous organism (for example, hepatitis B vaccine), or an inactivated toxin (for example, tetanus).
See also: vaccination, allergization.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


Immunology The process of inducing immunity by administering an antigen to allow the immune system to prevent infection or illness when it subsequently encounters the same pathogen. See Adult immunization, Alloimmunization, Anthrax immunization, Childhood immunization, Intracellular immunization, Passive immunization, Vaccination.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Protection of susceptible individuals from communicable diseases by administration of a living modified agent, a suspension of killed organisms, or an inactivated toxin.
See also: vaccination
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The process of conferring a degree of protection or IMMUNITY against infection or the effects of infection. The terms ‘immunization’ and ‘vaccination’ are interchangeable. See also INOCULATION.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005


the administration of an ANTIGEN, in the form of a vaccine, to produce an IMMUNE RESPONSE to that antigen and so protect against future exposure to the antigen. see ATTENUATION.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005


A process or procedure that protects the body against an infectious disease. A vaccination is a type of immunization.
Mentioned in: Vaginal Pain
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Protection of susceptible patients from communicable diseases by administration of a living modified agent, suspension of killed organisms, a protein expressed in a heterologous organism, or an inactivated toxin.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about immunization

Q. Is there a vaccination against hepatitis? I want to volunteer in a charity organization abroad soon, and I heard that currently there’s and outbreak of hepatitis in the town I intend to go to. Is there anything I can do to prevent me from getting hepatitis? Is there a way to get a vaccination against it?

A. before you would like to go on with any vaccination, you should check out this very long list of links:

at the bottom you will also find links in english. vaccinations in general are very disputable/dubious and it is probably time that we learn about it.

Q. Why does the body attack itself in autoimmune diseases? And if it’s possible - How come it doesn’t happen most of the time?

A. Some say cell-wall deficient (CWD) bacteria can live inside your cells (were apparently photographed in immune cells under electron microscope). See and (run by the autoimmunity research foundation). Also see I have been on the MP for just over a year. It has helped a lot of my symptoms, including lowering my TSH (thyroid) from hashimoto's thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid condition). I hope that my thyroid will eventually regain all of it's function (still taking some thyroid hormone supplement, but less). The MP is not without "side effects," which are said to be from bacterial die-off and cell death when the bacteria are killed. It is experimental and should only be undertaken with that in mind. The website is currently moderated by volunteers. There needs to be more research on CWD bacterial colonies and their possible role in autoimmune diseases. Please mention this to your doctor(s).

More discussions about immunization
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