Question: This should be my last question, hopefully haha. What is the point of having boosters in vaccinations when your immunise system should have already made its self immune to a virus?

  1. Hi jaxterjohns,

    That’s a good question! What happens when you get vaccinated is that your immune system reacts to the vaccine and develops antibodies against it. These antibodies are produced by a special type of immune cell called a B-cell. There are other cells called T cells. Actually there are heaps of different types of T-cells…but here I’m just talking about one type, called memory T-cells.

    Memory T-cells ‘record’ what the B-cells have done when they produce the antibodies against the vaccine. This is a pretty clever function of the immune system because producing antibodies takes some time. If you were exposed to the actual disease and you did not have the memory T-cells it would take a while for your immune system to respond and you could be already sick by that point.

    When the memory T-cells help out, and ‘remember’ what antibodies were produced in the past, the immune system can react MUCH MUCH faster and produce antibodies to fight off disease quickly.

    BUT… just like our memories, the memory T-cells get a bit forgetful! so every now and then it’s important to remind them what the B-cells do and what antibodies are produced against the vaccine. That’s why we have booster shots.

    A pain… in the arm… but important! 🙂