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Bonus: mRNA Vaccines
Curious about how the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines work? Here's a brief introduction.
Your immune system cells learn to attack unwanted viruses by recognizing the proteins on the surface of viruses.
However, it can be hard for your immune system to learn the viral proteins quickly.
A mRNA vaccine contains pieces of mRNA. These mRNA have the instructions for making a protein found on the surface of the COVID-19-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2. It's important to note that the mRNA ONLY has instructions for making the specific protein, not the entire virus itself.
Your body's cells will read the mRNA and produce the viral surface protein. Then, your immune cells will be able to safely learn to recognize SARS-CoV-2 without actually being in danger.
Next time SARS-CoV-2 tries to enter your body, your immune cells will already be able to detect it, through its surface proteins.
I have provided an extreme simplification. If you'd like to learn more details (from more credible sources), check out these links!