Vaccines were not created as treatment options for viruses; instead, they are tools that can be used to prevent viruses, according to Medline Plus. By getting vaccines, viruses such as the polio virus, hepatitis A and B viruses and the measles virus can be prevented, states Vaccines.gov.
Viruses are small organisms that cause the common cold, smallpox, the flu, warts, HIV and more, states Medline Plus. They infect people by invading their cells and using the host's cells to replicate themselves. Eventually, the viral cells propagate and the host becomes sick. Vaccines can prevent many viral infections from occurring and are important because viral infections can be hard to treat. Antibiotics do not target viruses, and not many antiviral medications are available.