Then, there’s acquired immunity, which we get from recovering from a disease or getting vaccinated.
The Importance of Vaccination
Now that we have shed some light on the question, what are antibodies, let’s talk about the importance of vaccination.
Like mentioned earlier, there are two ways to acquire immunity: either you get the infection and recover from it, or you receive the vaccine for a specific disease.
There are instances when it’s fairly okay to develop antibodies by recovering from an infection. For example, young, healthy people often tolerate contracting influenza without so much as a problem other than a week or two of symptoms.
However, there are also cases when getting the infection is more dangerous than getting the vaccine. For example, older people may suffer from complications of the flu, like pneumonia. Likewise, contracting a severe case of polio may lead to a lifetime of paralysis.
Vaccines do not cause the disease, but they teach your body to make antibodies for a particular illness.
Testing for antibodies is an excellent way to know if you already have protection against a particular disease. However, most people do not test for antibodies unless they are worried about not being protected from an illness.