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Vaccine Study Center



​​​​Commonly used terms and definitions

  • adjuvant — a substance that increases the body’s immune response to an antigen
  • antibody — a protein that identifies and neutralizes harmful substances like bacteria and viruses
  • antigen — the part of an organism that stimulates the immune system
  • CISA — Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment
  • CDC — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • DOR — Division of Research
  • DHHS — Department of Health and Human Services
  • FDA — Food and Drug Administration
  • NIH — National Institutes of Health
  • IRB — Institutional Review Board
  • pathogen — an agent that causes disease, e.g., a bacteria or a virus
  • vaccine — a biological substance that stimulates the body’s immune system to prevent a specific disease
  • VSD — Vaccine Safety Datalink
  • VAERS — Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
  • WHO — World Health Organization​