What is immunization: the essence, goals and rules of provision

23 November 2020

The search for ways to fight infectious diseases is still relevant today. But despite the active work of specialists in the field of pharmacology, specialists have not been able to find medicines that can stop the development of certain ailments.

At least doctors could find an effective way to prevent infection and subsequent illness. Until now, immunization of the population remains the only method that allows you to get the desired result.

What is immunization of the population and why is it provided?

Such a procedure as immunization is quite common in modern society. This is a process aimed at acquiring immunity by a person against common infections and the development of the body's ability to resist the effects of infectious agents.

The desired result is achieved through the use of vaccines of various effects. Vaccination formulations approved by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health are used for vaccination of the population

The essence of immunization lies in the administration of a vaccine into the body in the form of weakened, dead or live microbes in order to provoke a response from the immune system.

Faced with a weakened pathogenic microflora, the body begins to actively produce antibodies, which subsequently will play the role of a protective shield when faced with pathogenic microbes in real life conditions.

Is there a difference from vaccination?

Immunization and vaccination are different terms for the same process. These words are used as synonyms.

Therefore, if the doctor sent the patient not for vaccination, but for immunization, the latter should not be scared. In this case, it is referred to the same vaccination aimed at preventing a certain infectious disease or group of diseases.


To achieve the desired protective effect, active and passive methods of immunization are used. The listed methods differ in the way they affect the body, the duration of the effect and the situation in which the use of a particular type of medical assistance is indicated.

Active immunization involves the administration of an antigen in the form of live, weakened or killed pathogens, designed to stimulate a response from the immune system.

The result in the form of a sufficient amount of antibodies produced by human immunity appears only after 2 weeks. However, the effect of active immunization persists for a long time: from 1 year to several decades.

To consolidate the effect, revaccination is carried out in accordance with the terms established by the State Vaccination Schedule. Passive immunization is the administration into the body of ready-made antibodies to any pathogens of infectious diseases.

This type of immunization gives an almost instant effect, therefore it can be applied in cases where the disease has already developed. Despite the quick results, the effect of passive immunization is short-lived. It lasts from 1 to 6 weeks. Therefore, if it is necessary to obtain long-term protection, an active method is used.

Rules of provision

Immunization is a rather serious event that cannot be provided just like that:

  • first, the timing of the injection is important. Strict compliance with age criteria in the process of immunization allows to protect a person from infections that he most exposed to during a certain period of life;
  • second, even if an emergency immunization was required due to an epidemia outbreak, the procedure should still be performed only after a doctor's examination and under his guidance;
  • third, before each vaccination, a person must necessarily pass a general medical examination;
  • and fourth, it is important to comply with the rules for storing drugs used in the immunization process.

It is also important to comply with the rules for preparing the composition for vaccination.

What immunity does immunoprophylaxis with vaccine and serum cause?

The immunoprophylaxis provided by the use of serum and vaccine is slightly different. Both the first and second variants of the drug cause a persistent immune response to the pathogen.

However, due to the difference in composition, the obtained effect will also be different. After going through the full cycle of vaccination, the immune system's response to pathogenic microflora will appear in a couple of weeks and will persist from one year to several years. In the case of using a serum, the effect will be instant and just as strong, but short-term (from 1 to 6 weeks).

How long will it take the body to become immune to infection due to immunization?

It all depends on what type of drug was used by a specialist and for what purpose. If a vaccine was used, resistance to infection will appear in a couple of weeks and will persist for many years.

If serum was used, immunity will appear instantly after administration, since ready-made antibodies are present in the composition of the preparation.

However, the result will remain only for the next 6 weeks. After the end of this period, the immune system will lose its ability to resist the pathological microflora.

Immunization in the Republic of Belarus.

Currently, within the framework of the National Calendar of Preventive Vaccinations, immunization is provided against 12 infectious diseases:

  • viral hepatitis B;
  • tuberculosis;
  • whooping cough;
  • diphtheria;
  • tetanus;
  • polio;
  • hemophilic infection type b (HIB infection); 
  • measles; 
  • parotitis; 
  • rubella; 
  • pneumococcal infection; 
  • influenza. 

The list of indications for immunization against pneumococcal infection of children according to age, as well as children of other ages up to 5 years of age, with one of the following diseases or conditions, has been expanded:

  • immunodeficiencies;
  • recurrent acute purulent medial otitis (more than 3 episodes during the year);
  • recurrent pneumonia;
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia, birth defects of the respiratory tract, etc.;
  • heart defects requiring hemodynamic correction and enrichment of the pulmonary circulation;
  • the presence of a cochlear implant or planning for this operation;
  • diabetes;
  • bronchial asthma.

All vaccinations included in the National Calendar are free of charge.

It is now possible to immunize children who have not previously received prophylactic vaccinations against hemophilic infection, before they reach the age of 5 years and have one of the following diseases or conditions:

  • chronic hepatitis;
  • liver cirrhosis;
  • chronic diseases of the kidneys, heart, liver;
  • immunodeficiencies;
  • cystic fibrosis.

In accordance with the decree of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus of May 17, 2018 No. 42 "On preventive vaccinations", changes were made in the tactics of immunizing children against viral hepatitis B, pertussis infection, diphtheria, tetanus, pneumococcal and hemophilic infections:

  • in part of introducing the use of multicomponent medical devices, including a component against hemophilic infection to protect children in the first year of life;
  • in part of changing the dates of preventive vaccinations provision;
  • in part of specifying vaccination against hemophilic and pneumococcal infections.

In addition to routine preventive vaccinations, immunization is provided according to epidemic indications against 18 infections: rabies, brucellosis, chickenpox, viral hepatitis A, viral hepatitis B, diphtheria, yellow fever, tick-borne encephalitis, pertussis, measles, rubella, leptospirosis, sibirica tetanus, tularemia, plague, mumps.

Epidemic indications mean:

  • being in contact with a patient suffering from an infectious disease (with suspicion of an infectious disease), against which preventive vaccinations are provided;
  • the presence of a risk of infection with pathogens of infectious diseases, against which preventive vaccinations are provided, during professional activities;
  • the presence of the risk of infection with pathogens of infectious diseases against which preventive vaccinations are provided, in conditions of poor sanitary and epidemiological situation in the Republic of Belarus or on the territory of its individual administrative-territorial units, as well as on the territory of other states;
  • the presence of a risk of infection with pathogens of infectious diseases against which preventive vaccinations are provided in case of a possible introduction of infectious diseases into the territory of the Republic of Belarus;
  • the presence of diseases (states) in which infection with pathogens of infectious diseases, against which preventive vaccinations are provided, can lead to a complicated course of these diseases (states) or death.

Preventive vaccinations against infectious diseases for the contingents of children and adults not included in the National Calendar of Preventive Vaccinations and the List of Preventive Vaccinations for Epidemic Indications is provided at the expense of citizens' own funds or the employer's funds.

For immunization of the population on a paid basis, healthcare organizations and medical centers independently declare and purchase immunobiological drugs from suppliers.

For information on the procedure for provision of preventive vaccinations at the expense of citizens' own funds, it is necessary to contact territorial health organizations and medical centers.


1. Decree of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus of May 17, 2018 No. 42 "On Preventive Vaccinations".

2. http://nikzrb.ru/health_view.php?Row=123