As mentioned earlier, there are five main types of vaccines: attenuated (live) vaccines, inactivated vaccines, toxoid vaccines, subunit vaccines, and conjugate vaccines. The first vaccines for humans against viruses used weakened or attenuated viruses to generate immunity without causing serious illness (e.g. the early smallpox vaccine that was derived from cowpox). The rabies vaccine was the first human vaccine where the virus was attenuated in a laboratory. Let’s take a closer look at the list of vaccines according to vaccine type:
Live, attenuated vaccine list:
According to vaccines.gov, live-attenuated vaccines use a weakened form of the germ that causes a disease to assist in building immunity. Vaccines.org reports that just one or two doses of most live vaccines can give you a lifetime of protection against a germ and the disease it causes.
- Vaccinia (smallpox)
There is a vaccine against smallpox that was a key tool in the eradication of the disease. This vaccine does not contain the variola virus which causes smallpox, but a closely related virus called vaccinia. Since smallpox was eradicated, the vaccine is not recommended in routine immunization. It is used to protect researchers who work on the variola virus that causes smallpox and other viruses in the same virus family (known as orthopox viruses). If there is a smallpox outbreak, public health officials will say who else should get the vaccine. The CDC works with federal, state, and local officials to prepare for a smallpox outbreak.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR combined vaccine)
The MMR combined vaccine is recommended for most people, according to the CDC. It protects against three diseases: Measles, mumps, and rubella. Per the CDC, it is safe and effective. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are about 97% effective while one dose is about 93% effective.
- Varicella (chickenpox)
According to vaccines.gov, chickenpox used to be very common in the United States. But the good news is that the vaccine has greatly reduced the number of people who get it. The CDC recommends children should receive two doses of the vaccine — the first dose at 12 through 15 months old and a second dose at 4 through 6 years old.
- Influenza (nasal spray)
The CDC has approved nasal flu spray for its use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. Made from weakened flu viruses, your doctor sprays it into your nose. It protects you from the flu viruses that could make you sick during the upcoming flu season.
Before rotavirus vaccines were available, rotavirus was the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children in the United States and worldwide. Rotavirus vaccines are live attenuated vaccines given by putting drops in a child’s mouth.
- Zoster (shingles)
Almost 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime. The good news is that the shingles vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles. The CDC recommends a single dose of live vaccine for people 60 years old or older.
- Yellow fever
A safe and effective yellow fever vaccine made from weakened virus has been available for more than 80 years. A single dose provides lifelong protection for most people. The yellow fever vaccine is only recommended for people living in or traveling to places where yellow fever is a risk — or for people who work in labs studying the virus.
Inactivated/killed vaccine list:
- Polio (IPV)
- Hepatitis A
Toxoid (inactivated toxin) vaccine list:
- Diphtheria, tetanus (part of DTaP combined immunization)
Subunit/conjugate vaccine list:
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza (injection)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Pertussis (part of DTaP combined immunization)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)