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A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. It typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism, and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, which stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as foreign and destroy it. Vaccinology is the science of developing vaccines to prevent diseases and how the immune system responds to vaccines. It also includes evaluation of immunization programs, vaccine safety and effectiveness, as well as surveillance of the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases.