How Vaccines Work
Vaccines work by making us produce antibodies to fight disease without actually infecting us with the disease.
If the vaccinated person then comes into contact with the disease itself, their immune system will recognise it and immediately produce the antibodies they need to fight it.
Newborn babies are already protected against several diseases, such as measles, mumps and rubella, because antibodies have passed to them from their mothers via the placenta. This is called passive immunity.
Passive immunity usually only lasts for a few weeks or months. In the case of measles, mumps and rubella, it may last up to 1 year, which is why the MMR jab is given to children just after their first birthday.
For more information on what vaccines your child needs, please click here.