Now that people have started getting vaccines for COVID-19, many people are eagerly waiting for their turn. But because the first 2 COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are of a new type — called an mRNA vaccine — many people also have questions about how they work.
If you’re still up to speed on mRNA vaccines, here’s the gist: mRNA stands for messenger RNA — and the messages in these vaccines are like instructions for you. immune system.
All vaccines work by training your immune system to recognize and fight a specific germ. before this It has a chance to make you sick. Conventional vaccines use the germ itself for this “training” – either a weakened or dead form of the germ, or a small part of the germ.
But mRNA vaccines don’t contain any of those germs! Instead, they provide a small strip of genetic code (mRNA) that teaches your immune cells to make and recognize a key protein — in this case, the spike protein on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.
Once your immune system recognizes the spike protein, it reacts just like the actual COVID-19 virus – by creating antibodies to fight. Then if the COVID-19 virus shows up, antibodies will form to stop it in its tracks.
To round out this gala of vaccine facts, try presenting your readers with something delicious. true sandwich:
- mRNA vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. Remember, they don’t contain any virus – and the spike protein can’t give you COVID-19 either.
- 2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Researchers worked as quickly as possible to create vaccines – but they didn’t miss a step or cut a corner. The researchers all general clinical trials phases And given vaccines to thousands of people, so we can be sure they’re safe and that they work to prevent COVID-19.
- mRNA vaccines do not change your genes. You may have heard concerns that the mRNA in vaccines could stay in your cells and affect your DNA, but that just isn’t true. In fact, your body destroys the mRNA from the vaccine within hours of being vaccinated. The mRNA shows up, does its job, and then it’s out there!
- Serious side effects from these vaccines are rare, and getting vaccinated is much less risky than getting COVID-19. It’s common for people who are vaccinated to have a headache or fever, or to feel tired and achy for a day or two – and that’s actually a good thing! These are signs that the vaccine is working.
And when you’re spreading the good news about new vaccines, remember to encourage people to keep taking them. Other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before this and after vaccination. It will take some time for most people to get vaccinated, so it is important to continue to do everything possible to keep everyone safe.
Bottom-line: Explaining mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in simple language could help reduce people’s fears – and make them more likely – to opt for vaccination.
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