IATE Term of the Week: Vaccination

November 15, 2019 10:36 am


Searching for the term “vaccination” in IATE  we found the following definition: administration of all, or part of, a micro-organism or a modified product of that micro-organism (e.g. toxoid, purified antigen, or an antigen produced by genetic engineering) to provoke an immune response in the recipient. The vaccine can be administered through needle injections, by mouth and by aerosol. In addition, it is composed of a killed or weakened infectious organism or of proteins or toxins from the microorganism, so the body creates antibodies against the disease.

vaccine girl

The word “vaccine” comes from the name for the cowpox virus, vaccinia. In the beginning, the term was used as an adjective. Richard Dunning introduced the noun “vaccination” in 1800. Dr. Edward Jenner made history in 1796 when he gave a vaccine made from the cowpox virus to a patient. He took some pus of the cow and introduced that fluid into a cut in the patient’s body. Six weeks later, Dr. Jenner exposed the patient to smallpox; fortunately, the patient did not develop the infection, then or on twenty subsequent exposures to the dreaded disease. He continued with experiments and observation and he concluded: “cowpox protects the human constitution from the infection of smallpox”. Jenner’s vaccination soon became the major means of preventing smallpox around the world. Before this discovery, people used the practice of Variolation or Inoculation as a method to immunize an individual against smallpox (Variola). In 1885, Pasteur appropriated the word „vaccine“, stretching its meaning beyond its Latin word associations with cows in order to describe his new invention, the “rabies vaccine”.

Today, vaccination is the main tool for primary prevention of disease and one of the most cost-effective public health measures available. According to the European Commission “more than 100 million children  worldwide  are vaccinated annually against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, polio, measles, and hepatitis B…vaccination prevents an estimated 2-3 million deaths worldwide each year and reduces disease-specific treatment costs, including antimicrobial treatments (prescribed for viral infections).” Despite these records, many people are against the practice of vaccination accusing side effects and arguing against vaccines.


Vaccination, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variolation, Accessed November 14 2019

The origin of the word “Vaccine”, Science Friday, https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/the-origin-of-the-word-vaccine/, Accessed November 14 2019

Glossary, Vaccines & Immunizations, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/terms/glossary.html#v, Accessed November 14 2019

The history of vaccines, https://www.historyofvaccines.org/, Accessed November 14 2019

Vaccination, IATE, https://iate.europa.eu/search/standard/result/1572531416363/1, Accessed November 14 2019

Vaccination, Cambridge dictionary, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/vaccination, Accessed November 14 2019

Vaccination, European Comission, https://ec.europa.eu/health/vaccination/overview_en, Accessed November 14 2019

antonia pappa

Antonia Pappa – Communication trainee at the Terminology Unit

Born in Greece in 1992. She holds a Bachelor degree of Communication, Culture and Media and she worked, for three years, for a newspaper and food magazines in Greece. Antonia is now taking a Master’s degree in International Marketing and Communication and is working her thesis about social media advertising. In her free time, she likes travelling, doing yoga and going for a walk with her dog.

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