Definition of vaccine
: a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a particular disease
Recent Examples of vaccine from the Web
The World Health Organization provides some training to South Sudan’s health officials and the U.N. children’s agency provides the vaccines to the government.
In use since the late 1960s, the vaccine offers children lifelong protection against the measles virus.
Officials have also spent the last two weeks preparing the vaccine for transport in the event that they are given the green light to deploy it.
Saving all of those vaccines for a rainy day seems to have worked:
Beginning in the 1970s, the blood center used the chimps for research on a hepatitis B vaccine, which ended in 2006.
Vaccines, some of which may require more than one dose, are also offered.
Among the reasons for this effort’s success to date has been a mixture of regional collaboration, stakeholder engagement, public awareness campaigns and, crucially, the research and vaccine development by veterinary scientists.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to Immunity Project, a company seeking to develop a vaccine for HIV, but whose scientific credentials are debatable at best.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vaccine'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of vaccine
earlier, “fluid from cowpox pustules used in inoculation,” noun use of vaccine “of cowpox” (in the phrases vaccine disease, vaccine matter), borrowed from New Latin vaccina (in variolae vaccinae “cowpox”), going back to Latin, feminine of vaccīnus “of or from a cow,” from vacca “cow” (perhaps akin to Sanskrit vaśā “cow”) + -īnus 1-ine; in extended sense, “preparation of organisms administered to produced immunity,” in part borrowed from French vaccin, masculine derivative of vaccine “cowpox, matter from cowpox pustules,” borrowed from New Latin or English
First Known Use: 1813
VACCINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vaccine for English Language Learners
medical : a substance that is usually injected into a person or animal to protect against a particular disease
VACCINE Defined for Kids
Definition of vaccine for Students
: a preparation containing usually killed or weakened microorganisms (as bacteria or viruses) that is given usually by injection to increase protection against a particular disease
History for vaccine
In the late 1700s the English doctor Edward Jenner investigated the old belief that people who contracted a mild disease called cowpox from cows thereby became immune to smallpox, a much more dangerous disease. Jenner documented 23 such cases, where people inoculated with matter from cowpox sores came down with cowpox but then did not contract smallpox. Because variolae vaccinae, literally, “cow pustules,” was the medical Latin name for cowpox, the virus-containing material used for inoculations eventually came to be called vaccine.
Medical Definition of vaccine
1: matter or a preparation containing the virus of cowpox used to vaccinate a person against smallpox
2: a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a particular disease chicken pox vaccine; also : a mixture of several such vaccines measles-mumps-rubella vaccine
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