How the mRNA COVID19 vaccination works
by Dr. Jera Smith
This is an mRNA vaccine. mRNA is a little bit like a piece of paper saying how to make something; a blueprint. In this case, it says how to make a spike protein (red things in coronavirus illustrations). This mRNA is put in the muscle during vaccination. It is only there for a little while; thought to be around for a few hours to a couple of days. Like trash on the floor, it might get looked at, but it will be thrown away. Along comes a ribosome (the part of the cell that makes our proteins) and reads the mRNA and produces a spike protein. Imagine mRNA as a paper telling you how to put your bookshelf together. Only useful for assembling that bookshelf. A macrophage, a “trash finding” cell, finds this spike protein and presents it to the T-cells. T-cells orchestrate the immune response and stimulate B-cells to make antibodies to the spike protein. And voila, you have antibodies to a protein on the outside of the virus. These antibodies would attach to any future COVID19 invader and flag it for immediate destruction.
Common concerns and answers about the vaccine:
1. YOU CANNOT GET THE VIRUS FROM THE VACCINE. This is a kind of INactive vaccine. There is no virus in the vaccine. Literally. No virus.
2. YOU CANNOT TEST POSITIVE ON NASAL SWAB BECAUSE OF THE VACCINE. You would only test positive for the antibodies from the vaccine. If you have COVID+ nasal swab, it is from exposure to the actual virus.
3. THE SCIENCE INTO THIS VACCINE WAS NOT RUSHED. The vaccine only seemed to be available quickly. This was due to several factors. The awareness of the need was realized quickly. Funding was rushed and companies were interested in producing a vaccine. People were reviewing the evidence constantly, not just at the end of the study. The red tape between phases was expedited. All of this combined with cool advancements in research on mRNA style vaccines. Research that has been being developed for nearly a decade.
Here’s an article from 2018 detailing some of the advances in mRNA vaccines.
4. ALLERGIC REACTIONS ARE RARE. Of nearly 2 million people vaccinated, to date, only 21 have had severe allergic reactions. TWENTY-ONE people. Out of two million. Allergies are important to think about. There are careful monitoring parameters.
If you want more specific allergy information: CDC COVID-19 Vaccines and Allergic Reactions
5. THERE HAVE BEEN NO DEATHS REPORTED FROM EITHER FDA APPROVED VACCINE. Even with allergic reactions, as there are monitoring parameters for vaccination. Whereas one American dies of COVID every 33 seconds.
*There is one case that is being investigated and it is not yet clear.
6. IMMUNITY TAKES TIME. Just because you get the vaccine, does not mean you're immediately immune to COVID. A generally safe guideline: full immunity is considered two weeks after the second dose.
7. THERE ARE AFTER EFFECTS. That means it is working. The most common symptom was soreness at the injection site. Based on data from the clinical trials, the most common reactions to the vaccine are pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. Symptoms may be different after the second vaccination. These side effects are typical of the inflammation induced by vaccines and are a sign of the body’s immune response to the vaccine.
8. NATURAL IMMUNITY MAY NOT LAST. Just because you have had COVID-19 doesn’t mean you don’t need vaccination. There will be much more on this in the very near future.
9. RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE CORONA VIRUS WILL CONTINUE TO CHANGE. There is more information coming out every day. There are so many questions. Keep updated by reading information from varied locations and reputable news sources.
10. THERE IS NO MICROCHIP IN THE VACCINE. There is no microchip in the vaccine. I’ve had it, I’ve seen the needle myself. I have experience in inserting implants. For perspective: the nexplanon, a medical implant, uses a needle that is 2mm wide. The needle used to give a vaccine is 0.2mm wide. Implant devices are 10x larger. Also, there is already a microchip in your pocket, a cell phone and you probably missed that call about your car's extended warranty.
11. NO FETAL CELLS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THE AVAILABLE VACCINES. The vaccine is free from materials of animal origin and synthesized by an efficient, cell-free process without preservatives. Current mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were not created with, and do not require, the use of fetal cell cultures in the production process.
12. MASKS/HANDWASHING/PHYSICAL DISTANCING ARE STILL RECOMMENDED AFTER VACCINATION. For now. This will change. We don’t know if an immunized person can still transfer the virus to other susceptible people. More information on this will continue to be processed as more people are vaccinated.
13. YOU WILL NOT HAVE INFERTILITY DUE TO VACCINATION. There is currently no data to suggest this and hasn't been since the vaccine trial began in April of last year. Expert infertility guidelines are as follows, “Because COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not composed of live virus, they are not thought to cause an increased risk of infertility, first or second-trimester loss, stillbirth, or congenital anomalies.” That said, there is a lot of data on the risks of COVID 19 on pregnancy, miscarriage, and premature labor.
14. THIS VACCINATION WILL NOT ALTER YOUR DNA. mRNA is the only thing in the vaccination. It is only a blueprint, in this case, to the spike protein. As Dr. Dan Culver, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic told The Associated Press in September 2020, “the time that this RNA survives in the cells is relatively brief in the span of hours. What you are really doing is sticking a recipe card into the cell making protein for a few hours.”