What is a Vaccine?
A vaccine is a weakened or dead virus or bacteria that gets injected in your body. Your immune system cells will fight the “virus” and you will not get sick. Then, as your immune system fights the virus, special cells will remember the virus. When the real virus shows up, your body will immediately fifth the real virus off because of antibodies, proteins that your immune cells produce. mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine that DO NOT use a weakened or dead virus!
How Do mRNA Vaccines Work?
mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleic acid. In your cells, your body makes proteins using RNA. Basically, there is a little organelle or a part of a cell called ribosomes. Ribosomes take the RNA instructions to make proteins that are important for your body. With mRNA, the RNA acts as a messenger which tells your cell to make a specific virus protein. After your cells make the virus protein, it breaks down the mRNA like a secret spy message. Then, your immune cells recognize the virus protein and fight it off. They produce antibodies which will help your fight off the virus the time when the “real” one shows up. You are basically hacking your cells to make a virus protein! The mRNA is engineered in labs and injected inside of your body. In the case of COVID-19, the mRNA tells your cells to make a protein called Spike (S). That is the protein that is on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. That helps your body to get training of fighting of the pesky coronavirus.