- A live virus vaccine is designed to stimulate the body’s immune system recognize and fight infections caused by the non-weakened form of the virus.
- A vaccine made from a live virus has been weakened so it does not cause the disease the virus usually causes.
- The currently available live attenuated viral vaccines are measles, mumps, rubella (MMR-II), vaccinia, varicella, zoster (shingles – which contains the same virus as varicella vaccine but in much higher amount), yellow fever, rotavirus, and influenza (intranasal).
- Live virus vaccines use the weakened (attenuated) form of the virus.
- Killed (inactivated) vaccines are made from a protein or other small pieces taken from a virus or bacteria.
- It is not safe for pregnant women or people with weak immune systems to receive a live virus vaccine.
- Live viruses also have the potential to shed to others in the community.