Vaccination and, in particular, multiple vaccinations


Glossary over Vaccination and, in particular, multiple vaccinations


Allergies are inappropriate or exaggerated reactions of the immune system to substances that, in the majority of people, cause no symptoms.

Symptoms of the allergic diseases may be caused by exposure of the skin to a chemical, of the respiratory system to particles of dust or pollen (or other substances), or of the stomach and intestines to a particular food. (Source: ACAAI Allergy-Immunology Glossary  )



A protein produced by the body's immune system that recognizes and helps fight infections and other foreign substances in the body. (Source: Gift of a Lifetime Glossary  )


A usually chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways characterized by intermittent episodes of wheezing, coughing, and difficulty in breathing, sometimes caused by an allergy to inhaled substances. (Source: American Lung Association Appendix 4: Glossary  )


Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, relate to others, and interact with his or her surroundings. Autism is usually diagnosed between the ages of two and three. There is no cure for autism, except early diagnosis and treatment, which may help to ease the symptoms. (Source: GreenFacts )


Autoimmunity happens when the body fails to recognise some of its own tissues or cells and attacks them as if they were foreign.

Diseases arising from this abnormal immune response are called autoimmune diseases.

Examples of autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes and lupus. (Source: GreenFacts)


Bacteria are a major group of micro-organisms that live in soil, water, plants, organic matter, or the bodies of animals or people. They are microscopic and mostly unicellular, with a relatively simple cell structure.

Some bacteria cause diseases such as tetanus, typhoid fever, pneumonia, syphilis, cholera, and tuberculosis.

Bacteria play a role in the decomposition of organic matter and other chemical processes. (Source: GreenFacts)



Any one of a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body become abnormal and have the potential to spread and establish growth in nearby tissues and other parts of the body (malignancy). (Source: GreenFacts )


Clinical trial

A clinical trial is a research study in human volunteers to answer specific health questions. (Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Basic Q&A on Clinical Trials )


Controlled study

An experiment or clinical trial in which two groups are used for comparison purpose.



Diabetes is a disease that develops when the body is unable to produce or respond to insulin hormone in the normal way. (Source: GreenFacts)



The widespread outbreak of a disease, or a large number of cases of a disease in a single community or relatively small area. (Source: CoRIS Glossary  )

Epidemiological studies

Studies on human populations, which attempt to link human health effects (e.g. cancer) to a cause (e.g. exposure to a specific chemical). (Source: GreenFacts)


French National Institute of Health and Medical Research

Founded in 1964, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) is a public scientific and technological institute which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and French Ministry of Research.

As the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health, in 2008 Inserm took on the responsibility for the strategic, scientific and operational coordination of biomedical research. This key role as coordinator comes naturally to Inserm thanks to the scientific quality of its teams and its ability to conduct translational research, from the laboratory to the patient’s bed. (Source: Inserm  )


Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses (viral hepatitis) or by chronic exposure to medicines or toxins such as alcohol.

Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin caused by the buildup of bile pigments in the body), fever, appetite loss and gastrointestinal upset. (Source: GreenFacts)


Immune system

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. (Source: NIAID Immune System   )



The process of protecting an individual against communicable diseases by administering a vaccine.

The vaccine generally contains weakened or killed infectious organisms or parts of their structure.

The objective is to cause the immune system to produce antibodies against the organism without causing the full-blown disease, in order to allow the immune system to prevent infection or illness when it subsequently encounters the infectious organism. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Teach online Glossary  )


It is the growth of a parasite within the human body that causes illness. It can be a virus, a bacteria, a fungus or a protozoa. (Source: GreenFacts )


Inflammation is the reaction of living tissues to infection, irritation or other injury. (Source: GreenFacts)



Influenza is a highly infectious viral disease that affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. It is a contagious illness characterized by fever, headaches, sore throat, body aches and congestion of the nose.

Influenza can also lead to pneumonia and death especially among children, the elderly, and those with serious medical condition.

The virus is transmitted easily from person to person via droplets and small particles produced when infected people cough or sneeze. Influenza tends to spread rapidly in seasonal epidemics. (Source: GreenFacts, based on FAO, Agricultural Department, Avien Influenza Glossary  )


Measles is a highly infectious skin disease caused by a virus (fam. Paramyxoviridae). It tends to occur as epidemics and remains a leading cause of death among young children. It is transmitted by nose and throat secretions.

Unimmunized children under five years of age, and especially infants, are at highest risk for measles and its complications, including death.

Infected infants may suffer from severe diarrhoea, possibly causing dehydration, inflammation of the middle ear and severe respiratory tract infections. (Source: GreenFacts, based on US National Institue of Health Glossary  )


Meningitis is usually caused by viruses or bacteria transmitted through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions. Meningitis has a high potential to cause epidemics.

The infection, if untreated, results in an inflammation of the meninges, the thin lining that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord.

This inflammation can produce a wide range of symptoms, including fever, headache, or confusion and, in extreme cases, can cause brain damage, stroke, seizures, or even death.

Even when the disease is diagnosed early and adequate therapy instituted, 5% to 10% of patients die, typically within 24-48 hours of onset of symptoms. (Source: GreenFacts, based on WHO, Meningococcal meningitis  )


Death. Usually the cause (a specific disease, a condition, or an injury) is stated. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

Multiple sclerosis

A disorder of the central nervous system marked by weakness, numbness, a loss of muscle coordination, and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control. Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system destroys myelin. Myelin is a substance that contains both protein and fat (lipid), serving as a nerve insulator and helping in the transmission of nerve signals. (Source: NCI dictionary   )

Neurological effects

Effects to nervous system especially regarding structure, functions, and abnormalities. (Source: GreenFacts)


Inflammation of lung alveoli, the tiny air sacs deep within the lungs where carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged.

Pneumonia can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle stiffness, chest pain, coughing up of phlegm, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing.

The disease can be acute or chronic and is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. (Source: GreenFacts)



Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children.

The Poliovirus is transmitted through contaminated food and water, and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system.

Many infected people have no symptoms, but do excrete the virus in their faeces, hence transmitting infection to others.

Initial symptoms of polio include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, and pain in the limbs. In a small proportion of cases, the disease causes paralysis, which is often permanent.

Polio can only be prevented by immunization. (Source: WHO, Poliomyelitis  )


Rubella is an infection caused by the rubella virus, which is usually transmitted by droplets from the nose or throat.

Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is an important cause of severe birth defects. Even though it is a mild childhood illness CRS causes many birth defects.

Deafness is the most common, but CRS can also cause defects in the eyes, heart, and brain.

When a woman is infected with the rubella virus early in pregnancy, she has a 90% chance of passing the virus on to her fetus. This can cause the death of the fetus, or it may cause CRS. (Source: GreenFacts, based on WHO Rubella  )


A highly contagious disease caused by a type of poxvirus; symptoms usually include fever, severe back pain and a blistery-like rash. [Smallpox is transmitted from person to person by infected aerosols and air droplets.]

(Source: Medical Center of the University of Chicago Glossary - Travel Medicine  )


Sudden infant death syndrome

The diagnosis given for the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation.

Because most cases of SIDS occur when a baby is sleeping in a crib, SIDS is also commonly known as crib death.

Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between 1 and 4 months of age. (Source: Women's Health Zone Glossary   )


Method to improve a person’s immunity to a particular infectious disease. It involves the administration (oral intake or injection) of a vaccine, which is a weakened, dead or inactivated form of the pathogen responsible for the infection. This stimulates the immune system which produces antibodies (Source: GreenFacts)


A virus is a small organism which can infect other biological organisms.

Viruses can only reproduce by invading and taking over cells as they lack the cellular machinery for self reproduction.

They cause diseases in human beings, animals, plants and bacteria.

Examples of human diseases caused by viruses include the common cold, influenza, small pox, AIDS, and cold sores. (Source: GreenFacts)


World Health Organization

"The World Health Organization  (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system. WHO experts produce health guidelines and standards, and help countries to address public health issues. WHO also supports and promotes health research. Through WHO, governments can jointly tackle global health problems and improve people’s well-being.

193 countries and two associate members are WHO’s membership. They meet every year at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to set policy for the Organization, approve the Organization’s budget, and every five years, to appoint the Director-General. Their work is supported by the 34-member Executive Board, which is elected by the Health Assembly. Six regional committees focus on health matters of a regional nature."

WHO's scientific publications are widely recognized as a reference source.

The WHO has a number of regional offices which address the specific issues of those regions.

WHO World Regional Offices
  WHO African Region  (46 countries)
  WHO European Region  (53 countries)
  WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region  (21 countries)
  WHO Region of the Americas  (35 countries)
  WHO South-East Asia Region  (11 countries)
  WHO Western Pacific Region  (27 countries)
Yellow fever

Yellow fever is an infection caused by the yellow fever virus. It has caused large epidemics in Africa and the Americas.

The infection causes a wide range of disease such as high fever, bleeding into the skin, and necrosis (death) of cells in the kidney and liver, and even death.

Although an effective vaccine has been available for 60 years, the number of people infected over the last two decades has increased and yellow fever is now a serious public health issue again.

(Source: GreenFacts, based on WHO Yellow fever  )

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