How does a shot of dead viruses result in immunity?

3 Answers

  • 6 years ago
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    The body responds to the presence of foreign substances, like the proteins on the surface of viruses, by producing antibodies. If the virus is alive, then it's a race between the virus' ability to grow in the body and the body's defense systems, since it takes some time for the antibodies needed to fight the infection to actually build up.

    By using dead viruses, the body still responds by making antibodies but the amount of time the body needs to do this won't matter. You should know that in addition to producing antibodies at that moment, the body retains a "memory" of what antibodies it made to the dead virus, so when a live infection occurs, the response is much faster.

    Source(s): I'm a biochemist.
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  • 6 years ago

    Antibodies work sort of like a key fitting a lock. A B-cell learns to make specific antibodies by being exposed to the lock. The virus doesn't have to be "alive" or even fully intact for this to work. In the process of making a key that works, some of the cell divisions will result in memory cells. These remember how to make the key and can do so rapidly if they see the lock again, resulting in long term immunity.

    Source(s): 4000 level Immunology
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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    It wakes up the body's immune system because it thinks it is under attack. More antibodies are rapidly produced to deal with the threat. Even though the threat may be false.

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