Immunity is the ability of the human body to tolerate the presence of material indigenous to the body (“self”), and to eliminate foreign (“nonself”) material. This discriminatory ability provides protection from infectious disease, since most microbes are identified as foreign by the immune system. Immunity to a microbe is usually indicated by the presence of antibody to that organism. Immunity is generally specific to a single organism or group of closely related organisms. There are two basic mechanisms for acquiring immunity, active and passive.
Active immunity is protection that is produced by the person’s own immune system. This type of immunity usually lasts for many years, often during a lifetime.
Passive immunity is protection by products produced by an animal or human and transferred to another human, usually by injection. Passive immunity often provides effective protection, but this protection wanes (disappears) with time, usually within a few weeks or months. Source: The Pink Book
Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk for exposure to serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. If you work directly with patients or handle material that could spread infection, you should get appropriate vaccines to reduce the chance that you will get or spread vaccine-preventable diseases. Protect yourself, your patients, and your family members. Make sure you are up-to-date with recommended vaccines. Source: CDC
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