What Do a Chicken Pox Shot and a Boxer Have in Common?

Not long ago, we had to have a vaccination for chicken pox. Another word for vaccination is immunization. It is usually given to you by your doctor in a needle (also called a shot), and we were a little scared. It helped to know why we needed the shot.

polio_vaccination_in_sweden_1957A vaccine is usually a weak form of a virus, like chicken pox or measles. When your body detects the virus your body’s immune system learns how to fight it off, so if you’re exposed to the disease later you don’t catch it and get sick. Your body has already fought it off!

Chicken pox is one of a number of diseases that used to be common childhood diseases. Even a mild case would make you feverish and itchy for days and days. We definitely wouldn’t want to go through that! Vaccinations have helped eliminate diseases like polio, which used to be common and were very dangerous.

We think the way a vaccination works to help your body fight off disease sounds a lot like a boxer training for a fight. A boxer starts training by working out and punching a punching bag, and pretty soon he is strong enough to knock out another boxer with one punch!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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