Difference Between Vaccines and Antibiotics

In modern medicine, the treatment of ailments, and prevention of diseases became achievable goals with the advent of vaccines and antibiotics. Before this time, medicine depended on surgical techniques, and earlier to this, folk remedies were put into practice in a trial and error method. This changed with Jenner and Fleming, who created a new dawn in the proper management procedures. Though these differ in the mechanism of action, time of action, feasibility of usage, effectiveness, and complications, they have become intricate components of modern medicine.


Vaccines are biological preparations obtained from micro organisms like killed, attenuated, toxoid material, and used to enhance the immunity of a person. Vaccines have advantages against bacteria and viruses. These are usually used before the exposure, or at an event of suspected exposure, to promote specific immunity against that organism, and to retard any proliferation of that suspected organism, if it were to manifest itself. These are highly effective against most of the childhood bacterial and viral infection that are lethal. The use of vaccines has become an important part in national immunization programmes throughout most of the world. This has been a success against small pox, and creating disease free areas in relation to polio. The complications related to vaccines, are the affliction of the targeted illness if the person has poor immune system, generalized illness, and anaphylactic reactions, which can lead to death. The relationship between MMR vaccine and childhood autism has been proven to be nonexistent.


Antibiotics or antibacterial are substances created to retard the growth of organisms, or to kill those organisms. As the name suggests this acts against bacteria, and due to its action destroy the biochemical structures of the proteins and carbohydrates of the organisms, and it is dependent on the concentration of the antibiotic in the body. The antibiotics are classified according to the main action, and the biochemical structure. They usually have their action against multiple bacteria. They are used when the infection has occurred, or can be used as prophylaxis at times. The prices of these drugs range from a cheapest to the most expensive, and require long-term compliance for some conditions. The complications due to the antibiotics are varied and can even cause death.

What’s the difference between Vaccines and Antibiotics?

Both antibiotics and vaccines act against micro organism to retard their activity in harming the normal physiological functions. Both are successful in managing common conditions, which unless properly managed would kill that person. Though they have complications, even death, the benefits outweigh the risks of both vaccines and antibiotics.

– Vaccines act against most micro organism, whereas antibiotics act against bacteria.

– Vaccines are provided before the manifestation of the infection, but antibiotics are given mostly after.

– Vaccines usually have a specific single type of microbe, whereas antibiotics would act against a multitude of species.

– Vaccines enhance the natural immunity, and antibiotics cause destruction of the biochemistry of the organism.

– Vaccines are highly effective against organism, but there may be resistance to antibiotics needing the development of newer antibiotics.

– Both have equally lethal complications, but vaccines carry a lesser range of complications related to antibiotics.

Vaccines and antibiotics act together, to provide pre exposure, and post exposure mechanisms of protection against life threatening infections. Due to their complementary actions, they are used throughout the vast landscape of modern medicine.