The key difference between variolation and vaccination is the method of immunization. Variolation involves administering live viruses to develop immunity of the host while vaccination involves administering an attenuated virus in response to an infection.
Immunization acts as both a prophylactic and a therapeutic method for infection prevention and treatment. There are different methods of administering immunization in medicine. However, the most promising form is vaccination.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Variolation
3. What is Vaccination
4. Similarities Between Variolation and Vaccination
5. Side by Side Comparison – Variolation vs Vaccination in Tabular Form
What is Variolation?
Variolation is the process of inoculating an individual with the powdered viral scabs. It is the method used to immunize people against smallpox. It began in China and the Middle East. However, this method is not in use now.
Further, this procedure is executed by inserting or rubbing powdered smallpox scabs or fluid taken from pustules. The medical personal first makes a superficial scratch on the skin. Then they inoculate the viral load through the scratch. Upon variolation, the person would develop pustules identical to that of smallpox. However, eventually, with time, the pustules disappear. These pustules are much milder than actual smallpox pustules.
What is Vaccination?
Vaccination is a method of immunization against an infectious agent. During vaccination, administration of an attenuated virus takes place. It is the weakened form of the virus that expresses the antigens. Therefore, the host starts producing antibodies in response to the antigens, thereby generating immunity in the host. Vaccines also consist of killed state or proteins or toxins from the organism. Vaccinations also include novel techniques such as DNA vaccines and recombinant vaccines.
Vaccination is done intravenously, and there are special conditions for the storage of these vaccines. At present, vaccinations are also available as edible vaccines. This caused a revolution of vaccination technology in the world.
What are the Similarities Between Variolation and Vaccination?
- Both act as therapeutic and prophylactic for infections.
- They are two methods involved in immunizing people against diseases.
- In both cases, the causative agent is introduced into a healthy individual artificially in order to make the disease.
What is the Difference Between Variolation and Vaccination?
Variolation refers to the process of inoculating live virus in order to create immunity against smallpox. In contrast, vaccination refers to the administration of attenuated viruses as vaccines in order to create immunity in people for diseases. So, this is the key difference between variolation and vaccination. Furthermore, variolation applies to smallpox virus while vaccination applies to other vaccines such as Hepatitis, malaria, tetanus, etc.
Moreover, a further difference between variolation and vaccination is that variolation involves direct inoculation of the live form of smallpox virus while vaccination involves administration of weakened viruses or DNA/recombinant viruses.
Summary – Variolation vs Vaccination
In summarizing the difference between variolation and vaccination, variolation and vaccination are two methods used as immunization. Variolation involves administering live viruses to develop immunity of the host. In contrast, vaccination involves administering an attenuated virus in response to an infection. However, at present, the technique of variolation is not in practice.