mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine
What are mRNA Covid-19 vaccines?
Vaccines are artificially produced products that work by imitating an infection and helping the immune system recognize a disease-causing agent or foreign body like viruses or bacteria.
mRNA or messenger RNA vaccines are a new vaccine type that helps protect us against infectious diseases. They are produced by extracting the RNA [containing the code for replicating] from the virus DNA.
How is the mRNA vaccine produced?
Scientists working in labs worldwide have managed to cleave this RNA from the real live virus and manufactured an exact match. This RNA acts as a messenger [ the “m” in mRNA] to our body to produce antibodies against the real virus.
How does this mRNA Covid-19 vaccine work?
In the Covid-19 virus, it is the “spike protein” that the virus uses to attach itself to our body cells. Once inside the cell, the virus releases its RNA, which replicates, and more viruses are formed. This is again released into the blood, and they go and infect other cells. A time comes when the virus overwhelms our immune system [the white blood cells and their components]. It does trigger an immune response inside our body, but it may be insufficient to overcome the virus attack.
In the case of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, they give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of protein- what is called the “spike protein.”
When the mRNA is injected into our body via the vaccine, they teach our cells how to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein. This protein is similar to the spike protein of the Covid-19 virus. Our body cells recognize this as foreign or harmful bodies to our body. These foreign bodies are called antigens.
After inducing our immune cells to produce the antibodies, they are destroyed by the same cells which they entered.
That immune response, which produces antibodies, protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
I hope you have now understood the concept of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines.
If you want to know more about the vaccine, kindly click this link to the video on how the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine works.