Understanding modern-day vaccines: what you need to know

<p>Vaccines are considered to be one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century. Depending on the biology of the infection, the disease to be prevented, and the targeted population, a vaccine may require the induction of different adaptive immune mechanisms to be effective. Understanding the basic concepts of different vaccines is therefore crucial to understand their mode of action, benefits, risks, and their potential real-life impact on protection. This review aims to provide healthcare professionals with background information about the main vaccine designs and concepts of protection in a simplified way to improve their knowledge and understanding, and increase their confidence in the science of vaccination (<a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/07853890.2017.1407035" target="_blank">Supplementary Material</a>).KEY MESSAGE</p><p>Different vaccine designs, each with different advantages and limitations, can be applied for protection against a particular disease.</p><p>Vaccines may contain live-attenuated pathogens, inactivated pathogens, or only parts of pathogens and may also contain adjuvants to stimulate the immune responses.</p><p>This review explains the mode of action, benefits, risks and real-life impact of vaccines by highlighting key vaccine concepts.</p><p>An improved knowledge and understanding of the main vaccine designs and concepts of protection will help support the appropriate use and expectations of vaccines, increase confidence in the science of vaccination, and help reduce vaccine hesitancy.</p><p></p> <p>Different vaccine designs, each with different advantages and limitations, can be applied for protection against a particular disease.</p> <p>Vaccines may contain live-attenuated pathogens, inactivated pathogens, or only parts of pathogens and may also contain adjuvants to stimulate the immune responses.</p> <p>This review explains the mode of action, benefits, risks and real-life impact of vaccines by highlighting key vaccine concepts.</p> <p>An improved knowledge and understanding of the main vaccine designs and concepts of protection will help support the appropriate use and expectations of vaccines, increase confidence in the science of vaccination, and help reduce vaccine hesitancy.</p>