Passive vs. Natural Immunity

Passive Immunity
Occurs when active antibodies are given to someone that cannot produce their own antibodies.

Given through:
  • A mother's antibodies passing through the placenta to the baby
  • Through antibody-containing blood products (monoclonal antibodies)
    • Given when immediate protection from a specific disease is needed
Protection is immediate, but only lasts for a few weeks or months.

Natural Immunity
Occurs when a person is exposed to a live pathogen and produces antibodies in response.

Given through:
  • Direct contact with pathogen
Protection is adapted, but long-lasting.

Pathogens are in larger doses when infected naturally, this means better immunity, but also increased effects of symptoms. 

Risks that come with natural immunity
  • Pneumonia from Chickenpox
  • Intellectual disability from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Pneumonia from Pneumococcus
  • Birth defects from Rubella
  • Liver cancer from Hepatitis B virus
  • Death from Measles
All of these can be prevented by getting vaccinated!