Is Vaccination and Immunization the Same?

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Vaccination and immunization are important in controlling infectious diseases. But don’t they both have the same meaning?

Both of those terms are related. However, these two terms have different meanings behind it.

These differences may seem insignificant. However, using phrases appropriately might help you and your healthcare professional avoid miscommunication.

What is Vaccination?

The name of a pox virus, namely the cowpox virus, vaccinia, is where the words vaccine and vaccination genuinely derive from.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination is the process of administering a vaccine to the body in order to generate protection against a certain disease.

Meanwhile, vaccines are a substance used to boost the immune system’s defenses against illness. Most vaccines are given by needle injection, although some can also be taken by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

What is Immunization?

Immunization is a procedure via which a person receives immunization protection against disease. This phrase is frequently used synonymously with the words: vaccination or inoculation.

The practice of immunizing people has been around for centuries. In the 17th century, there was a practice of applying cowpox to a skin tear to produce immunity to smallpox (variolation). Around the same time, immunization was used in China by Buddhist monks to prevent snake bites.

In conclusion, vaccination is the process of giving vaccines to people to boost the immune system until they become immunised (get immunisation) to a certain disease. These two terms are related to each other and hard to be separated. For example, in this pandemic era of COVID-19, it is important to get vaccinated and be immunised to protect ourselves.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Immunization Basics. CDC.
  2. Is There a Difference Between Immunization and Vaccination? (2022, July 17). Verywell Health.
  3. Leibach, J. (2015, November 2). The Origin Of The Word ‘Vaccine.’ Science Friday.
Dr Awam

Dr Awam

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All credits goes to Awam Clinic health promotion team.

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