What is Immunity ?

Immunity refers to the protection we get from any disease or infection-causing organisms. Our body’s own cells and molecules offer us this protection. These cells and molecules work together to fight against any foreign organisms or substances that enter our body. Molecules from immune cells bind specifically  to the molecules on the pathogen and stop them from spreading infection. Some types of immune cells may also provide long-term protection from a pathogen.Both plants and animals have some level of immunity to fight against certain infections.

Do we have immunity from viruses?

When a virus infects a human host, cells and  proteins of the host’s immune system fight against them and stop them from further infecting other cells of the body. Certain protein molecules from the host’s immune cells bind to specific proteins on the virus’s coat. But viruses often find ways to evade the action of our immune cells.

Why are vaccines needed?

In some cases, vaccinations are given to boost our body’s immunity against specific pathogens like viruses. A disease-causing virus is weakened so that it can no longer cause infections and this weak, inactive virus is administered as a vaccine. Parts of a killed virus can also be used to vaccinate. These vaccines stimulate our immune cells into action and protect against infection by those specific viruses in the future. Vaccination ensures immunity to the disease caused by that specific  virus and not for all viral diseases. Examples of such vaccines include measles and chickenpox vaccine.

The human body is not immune to infection by the novel coronavirus (nCOVID19) and no vaccine has been discovered to date that can protect us from the infection. Practice social distancing, hand hygiene, and other preventive measures to stay away from the infection.

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