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What is a subunit vaccine?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Whereas some vaccines use the whole microbe, subunit vaccines use only those parts of the microbe that stimulate the immune system well -- namely, the antigens. By containing only what is needed for an immune response and not all the other parts of the microbe, subunit vaccines tend to cause fewer adverse reactions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.