Difference between active and passive immunization: The aim of active vaccination is to establish long-term effective protection. For this purpose, the body receives inactive or only fragments of pathogens. Weakened pathogens can no longer cause serious illness.

So, the vaccine simulates infection. The body reacts by producing antibodies and so-called memory cells. If a person is infected in the future, these can quickly become active and ward off the disease.

In many cases, several doses of vaccinations are necessary to build up the immune protection. This is basic vaccination. The individual vaccination dates are are the so-called “vaccination schedule”. With some vaccinations protection lasts a lifetime, others have to be boosted at regular intervals. Booster doses for adolescents and adults serve as a reminder for the immune system. They prolong the protection of the vaccination.

What is the difference between active and passive Immunisation.

Passive vaccines:

For some diseases there is the possibility to build up a fast protection through passive immunization. Therefore this may be necessary if:

  • A person has currently come into contact with a pathogen.
  • There is insufficient vaccination protection against this disease.

For this purpose, however, it must be noticed that you have been infected.

In passive vaccination, the body receives antibodies. These antibodies usually come from people who are immune to the disease. In contrast to active vaccination, passive vaccination offers immediate protection. However, it only lasts for a short time – about three months.


A single vaccination is often not enough. The vaccine loses its effectiveness over time due to the decrease in antibodies. Which makes them exposed to pathogens again. In most cases it is not necessary to be vaccinated individually for each disease. Current combination products combine several vaccines.

  • In passive immunity you undergo an administration of ready-made immunoglobulins that protect you from the antigen for which they are specific. Therefore only limited to their duration. After their destruction you are no longer immune.
  • In active immunity, the immune system recognizes the antigen and produces antibodies on its own. (and not only) until the antigen has been deflated. often remaining “memory” of the infection, other times lasting only a few year.

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