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Question: Why does a Cholera vaccine only contain cholera poison and not the cholera bacteria? People can be injected with a vaccine against cholera. The vaccine contains a tiny amount of the cholera poison and NOT the cholera bacteria. As a result people become immune to cholera. But what i don't get is how does the vaccine make a person immune to cholera if they use the poison but not the bacteria? Please help =]

Answer: It's the poison that cholera bacteria produce that makes people ill. By giving someone a little bit of the poison, their immune system can get use to it and remember how to make it harmless in the future. This gives the person immunity to cholera. If you were to inject someone with cholera, they might develop full-blown cholera since the bacteria would reproduce and make a much larger amount of poison before their body learned how to cope. So to summarise, it's safer to give someone a controlled amount of the poison (which is what causes the symptoms anyway) for them to get immune to it than giving them a shot of bacteria. A side note - I think I read somewhere that cholera immunity only lasts for a few months. Not sure if this is of interest or not.

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