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Immunizations (vaccinations) are given to initiate or augment resistance to an infectious disease. Immunizations provide a specialized form of immunity that provides long-lasting protection against specific antigens, such as certain diseases.

Review Date 7/10/2015

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.