I have the (maybe wrong?) preconception that we only vaccinate against viral diseases, and that there can only exist vaccines against viruses. I think the idea comes from the idea that only for viral diseases are you becoming immune after contracting the disease, not for bacterial. The question Is there a vaccine against the plague (Yersinia pestis)? made me think that I don't really have a justification for that, seeing that the mechanisms for combatting viral diseases and bacterial diseases should be the same (is that right?).

So, is it possible to vaccinate against bacterial diseases? Do we have existing vaccines for any bacterial disease?


2 Answers 2


Of course we can - and do - vaccinate against bacterial diseases, as these are some of the dangerous infectious diseases. Among these are:

  • Tetanus (although here the vaccination is targeted against the toxin, not the bacterium itself)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Meningococcus: against the strains ACWY, B

A list of the vaccines against bacterial diseases can be found here.


Vaccine works by instructing our immune system to recognize and fight against infectious agent (pathogen), so it can be virus, bacteria or any other microorganism.

Particles from particular pathogen are introduced into the body which stimulates immune system and thus works to fight against it.

Bacterial vaccines can be of different types: toxoids, subunit vaccines, killed vaccines, and live attenuated vaccines. (Via: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/bacterial-vaccine)

List of bacterial vaccines can be checked in this wiki link


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