How Does It Work? | mRNA Vaccines

If you’ve ever read about mRNA vaccines and wondered, “How Does It Work?” This week’s installment of our video series was made with you in mind.

To understand how mRNA vaccines work, let’s take a close look at the immune system.

Your immune system can recognize that the structures on bacteria or viruses are different from your own. Some types of white blood cells produce antibodies against these structures to neutralize and destroy the invading pathogen. Vaccines can help your body with this process by introducing your immune system to pieces of a virus or bacteria, known as antigens, before it comes into contact with the real thing.

mRNA vaccines achieve this by delivering messenger RNA into your cells via lipid nanoparticles. The mRNA contains a code that is read and translated into virus protein by the ribosomes inside your cells. The protein is antigenic, so it stimulates your immune cells to produce antibodies and sometimes memory cells against it, helping to speed up your body’s response to a real infection.

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