Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: DRUGS, MEDICINES

Date: 1700-1800
Language: Latin
Origin: vaccinus 'of a cow', from vacca 'cow'; because the substance was originally obtained from sick cows

vaccine

noun
     
vac‧cine [uncountable and countable]
MD a substance which contains a weak form of the bacteria or virus that causes a disease and is used to protect people from that disease:
a polio vaccine
Doctors worried that there would not be enough vaccine for everyone who needed it.
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