Types of vaccine

There are many types of vaccines, categorized by the antigen used in their preparation. Their formulations affect how they are used, how they are stored, and how they are administered. The globally recommended vaccines discussed in this module fall into the four main antigen types shown in the diagram.

Types of Vaccine
Types of Vaccine

Vaccine manufacturers strive to develop vaccines that:

  • are effective in preventing or reducing severity of infectious disease;
  • provide durable, long-term protection against the disease;
  • achieve immunity with a minimal number of doses;
  • provide the maximum number of antigens that confer the broadest protection against infection;
  • cause no or mild adverse events;
  • are stable at extremes of storage conditions over a prolonged period of time;
  • are available for general use through mass production;
  • are affordable to populations at risk for infectious disease.