Making Vaccines

How are vaccines made?

Vaccines are made in several ways. However, all vaccines have the same general goal: weaken the virus or bacteria in a way that allows the recipient to develop an immune response without developing any symptoms of infection. Vaccines are made using the same components that are found in the natural virus or bacteria. Learn how vaccines are made.

Process of vaccine development

People critical of vaccines often cite issues related to how a vaccine is made, such as the amount of time a vaccine has been tested, the number of people who received it, and the ingredients in the vaccines. An understanding of the vaccine development process may help alleviate some of these concerns.

Licensure, recommendations and requirements

Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by a number of different groups. These groups either: license, recommend or require vaccines.

Animals and vaccines

The benefits of vaccines are often discussed as they relate to people. Vaccines keep people healthy, decrease the transmission of diseases throughout the population, and decrease the costs of medical care. However, animal vaccines are of benefit to people as well.

Reviewed by Paul A. Offit, MD on November 19, 2014

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.