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Information @ a Glance

General Information

  • A vaccine is an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to a disease.

  • Vaccines are based on the concept of variolation.

  • The process of distributing and administrating vaccines is referred to as vaccination.

  • Vaccines can be prophylactic or or therapeutic.

  • Vaccines may be dead or inactivated organisms or purified products derived from them.


  • Vaccine have traditionally been produced in chicken eggs, a new technology-cell-based vaccine production-could save hundreds of thousands of lives in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza, or some other infectious disease.

  • The new approach would use mammalian cells (kidney cells are often used) to grow the influenza viruses. Cell-based vaccine production could more easily meet "surge capacity needs" because cells could be frozen and stored in advance of an epidemic or developed rapidly in response to an epidemic.

  • Cell-based vaccine production dramatically reduces the possibility for contamination and promises to be more reliable, flexible, and expandable than egg-based methods.

  • In place of eggs, cell-based vaccine production utilizes laboratory-grown cell lines that are capable of hosting a growing virus. The virus is injected into the cells where it multiplies. The cells' outer walls are removed, harvested, purified, and inactivated. A vaccine can be produced in a matter of weeks. Polio vaccine is currently produced using the cell-based method.


  • Vaccines are used in poultry production to control clinical disease or sub-clinical disease.

  • In poultry production vaccination is most commonly applied in order to protect the stock on the particular farm being vaccinated.

  • Vaccines may be directed at diseases caused by viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria or parasites.


  • Cuba is one of the world's largest producer of a recombinant vaccine against hepatitis B. It is the only producer of a vaccine against the bacterium that causes meningitis-B. They have recently developed a promising recombinant vaccine which protects cattle disease bearing ticks.

  • Vaccine production costs have a significant fixed cost component, reaching up to 90 percent of total costs.

  • The target population for vaccination could potentially be the entire global population of over six billion; this would require comprehensive resources to support operational and logistic demands in many countries.

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