How the immune system learns to defend itself

February 11, 2021

MPG - Forschungsquartett | Immune response to vaccination: Thomas Boehm knows how an immune reaction to vaccination actually works. He conducts research at the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics. editor Dominik Lenze joined the Max Planck Society's research quartet with the physician and MPI director to find out how exactly our body acquires knowledge about diseases and whether this knowledge can even be inherited. This podcast episode is only available in German.

From the show notes

To be immune to pathogens, you don't have to be infected with them. You can use vaccines, but the principle remains the same: The immune system must first get to know them to learn how to defend itself against pathogens. This is what happens with vaccination.

Although the principle of vaccination has improved global health, the subject is still associated with fears. And not just since opponents of vaccination have been stirring up worries about the Corona vaccine: there were reservations about this treatment as early as the 18th century. However, a vaccination sometimes immunizes better than natural infection.

Patients often do not feel well after vaccination. However, this is usually not due to the vaccine: it is the immune system's natural reaction, which is just learning how to deal with the new pathogen. editor Dominik Lenze found out from Max Planck Director Thomas Boehm how such an immune reaction occurs during vaccination.

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