What Are Attenuated Vaccines?

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

What Are Attenuated Vaccines?

An attenuated vaccine is created to reduce the virulence of the pathogen, but still, keeps it live or viable. Attenuation takes an irresistible agent and modifies it so that it becomes harmless or less virulent.


These vaccines differ from those produced by killing the virus.



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How Are Attenuated Vaccines Developed?

The attenuated viruses attenuated through the passage of the virus into a foreign host including;

  • Tissue culture
  • Live animals
  • Embryonated eggs


The original virus group is applied to the foreign host. One or more than one viruses possess a mutation which enables it to infect the new host.


These mutation processes will increase, as the mutations allow the virus to grow healthy inside the new host, this will result in a population which is significantly different from the initial population. This will not develop well in the original host when it is re-introduced so it will automatically attenuate.


This process is known as the passage process in which the virus becomes adapted to the foreign host which is no longer harmful to the vaccinated problem.


The process makes it easier for the immune system of the host to eliminate the agent as well as to create the immunological memory cells which will probably protect the patient if he/she are infected with the similar version of the virus.


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What Are The Advantages of Attenuated Vaccines?


There are several advantages of the attenuated vaccines including;

  • These vaccines are active for all phases of the immune system (especially for producing IgA local antibodies).
  • It provides more durable immunity and helps boosters which are required less frequently.
  • They are low cost.
  • It provides quick immunity
  • Some vaccines are easy to transport (for instance oral poliovirus vaccines (OPV) for polio that can be taken orally, rather than taking through sterile injection).
  • These vaccines also have strong beneficial non-specific effects such as provide specific protective effects to the targeted diseases.




What Are The Disadvantages of Attenuated Vaccines?

There are mainly three main disadvantages of the attenuated vaccines including;

  • In the mutation process, if secondary mutation held then it can cause a reversion to virulence.
  • It can cause severe complications in most of the immunocompromised patients.
  • Some of them are difficult to transport due to the requirement to maintain conditions like temperature.



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However, now you know the attenuated vaccine which is used for reducing the virulence of the pathogen. But before using any type of the vaccine you should consult your doctor.


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