Why Are Vaccines So Important
When you get a vaccine, you help keep other people healthy, too. There are some people who can’t get vaccines or can’t get vaccines yet. The way that many vaccines work is that you won’t get sick from the germ you’ve been vaccinated for. Therefore, you won’t be spreading germs around to other people who haven’t gotten vaccines. And that means people who are not vaccinated won’t get the germs from you and they won’t get sick. Bonus! Vaccines protect you and all the people around you, too!
How Does An Mrna Vaccine Work
These vaccines are not only effective, they work in a fundamentally different way from traditional vaccines, explains Sanjay Mishra, a staff scientist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Traditional vaccines use an entire dead virus or just a piece of one to generate immunity. But an mRNA vaccine is different, writes Mishra, because rather than having the viral protein injected, a person receives genetic material mRNA that encodes the viral protein. When these genetic instructions are injected into the upper arm, the muscle cells translate them to make the viral protein directly in the body.
How To Explain Vaccines In Terms Simple Enough For A Child
I started talking to my kids about vaccines when they were babies. Yes, babies. That’s what made me feel better about getting them their shots. Being a vaccine researcher, I never questioned whether or not I’d vaccinate, but it’s still not an easy task as a parent to get your kids their shotsthe tears, the pinch of pain, the doctors’ appointments. Eventually it got easier for me, and maybe a little harder for them. But I kept talking.
Today, my elementary-aged children are fine with getting their shots, and I think that’s because I never stopped the conversation. They’re curious little creatures and talking about those scary things seems to help a lot. Now that coronavirus vaccines are being distributed, it’s especially important to start talking about vaccines with your kids.
You don’t have to be familiar with all the science mumbo jumbo to help your kids understand why they need to hold their arms out for their vaccines. When you start a conversation about vaccines with your child, I suggest addressing one common fear first: pain. The shot might hurt a little, but the tiny poke is so much better than getting sick from a terrible disease that might land you in the hospital. And no one wants that.
From there, here’s how to answer the big questions little kids have about vaccines.
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What’s In The Covid Vaccines
Like all other vaccines approved by the FDA, COVID vaccines do not contain toxic or harmful ingredients. This is another common vaccine myth.
One of the benefits of using the current COVID vaccines is that they avoid some of the issues some people may have with certain vaccines.
The vaccines aren’t made using egg proteins, so unlike some forms of the flu vaccine, people who have an egg allergy can take the vaccine.
Additionally, human fetal cells aren’t used during the vaccine development process. This makes the COVID vaccines a suitable option for individuals who object to this practice.
Mrna Vaccines For Dummies
We will improve each persons health and wellbeing. Capital Chemist
In the war against pathogens, antigens are the bad guys. Antibodies are the good guys. Normally the antigens come from the infection, and the body produces antibodies to take them out.
In a traditional vaccine, antigens are introduced into the body through the vaccine. For flu vaccine, the antigens are little bits of proteins from the outside of the virus. The body then reacts to these antigens by producing antibodies our immune system remembers those antigens and if youre exposed to the flu, youre well on the way to wiping them out, hopefully before you get sick.
mRNA vaccines are different. Theres no antigen in them. Theres a little bit of messenger RNA that is like a tiny little 3D printer the mRNA is incorporated into our cells, switches on to make the antigen, then disappears. The antigen is then recognized by our body, which learns how to make antibodies. Again, these are stored in our immune systems memory for ever.
mRNA vaccine technology is new although the concept has been studied for a decade or more. And it may not just be useful for Covid. Instead of mRNA that can make covid spike protein, what if we could use mRNA that codes for a HIV surface protein? Or the common cell type that causes cervical cancer or breast cancer?
Isnt science amazing?
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Booster Shots And Additional Primary Doses
A booster shot is for people who built enough protection after completing their primary vaccine series, but then that protection decreased over time. Everyone ages 16 years and older who is fully vaccinated can get a booster. Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.
An additional primary dose is for people who did not build enough or any protection from their primary vaccine series. This appears to be the case for some immunocompromised people who received Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, moderately or severely immunocompromised people ages 18 years and older who completed their Moderna vaccine primary series should plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot. People ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine primary series should also plan to get an additional primary dose 28 days after receiving their second shot.
What Is A Vaccine
Germs can make you really sick, and they’re sometimes very dangerous. Doctors and scientists work very hard to find ways to keep people from getting sick and that’s why they created vaccines.
A vaccine is a type of medicine that doesn’t make you better, but keeps you from getting sick in the first place. It does this by teaching your body to fight off germs like viruses and bacteria. Vaccines are like putting on a seatbelt when you get in the car. The seatbelt keeps you safe if you should get in an accident, and by putting it on no matter what, you will always be prepared for the worst. Vaccines help your body be prepared for the disease if you should happen to encounter it out in the world.
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Rna Vaccines: An Introduction
RNA based vaccines, which are relatively quick and inexpensive to develop and may be safer to use could herald more rapid control over the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. This policy briefing summarises the essentials.
Vaccination is one of the major success stories of modern medicine, greatly reducing the incidence of infectious diseases such as measles, and eradicating others, such as smallpox. Conventional vaccine approaches have not been as effective against rapidly evolving pathogens like influenza or emerging disease threats such as the Ebola or Zika viruses. RNA based vaccines could have an impact in these areas due to their shorter manufacturing times and greater effectiveness. Beyond infectious diseases, RNA vaccines have potential as novel therapeutic options for major diseases such as cancer.
Catchiest Part Of A Song
Amar Kelkar, MD, a current fellow at the University of Florida Health division of hematology and oncology, similarly likens mRNA to music. He says mRNA relays the catchiest part of a song. That part of the song, or the protein, in this case, will be so recognizable that your body will be able to detect it later on if the virus enters your body.
The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.
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How Do I Know Vaccines Are Safe
Before a vaccine can be given to the population it must go through rigorous testing. Like all medicines, vaccines go through many clinical trials, where they are administered and monitored in groups of volunteers. In the UK, the results of trials are then assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency . Once licensed, the vaccine must then be further approved by the MHRA before it is added to the routine vaccination programme. Even once a vaccine becomes part of the vaccination programme, it is continually monitored for safety and effectiveness by the MHRA. Any suspected side effects are reported by medical providers or patients to the MHRA using the yellow card scheme. No medicine can ever be completely risk free or 100% effective. However, strong licensing processes and safety tests ensure that the health benefits of medicines being given through the NHS greatly outweigh any risks. As vaccines are given to healthy people, these regulatory measures are even stricter, meaning that the level of acceptable risk for vaccines is much lower than it would be for other medicines.9
If These Diseases Are So Rare Why Does My Child Need To Be Vaccinated
All of the diseases that we vaccinate against exist in the world today. Therefore, if your child has not been vaccinated, there is still a risk that they could get the disease and become very sick. We know that decreases in vaccination uptake can result in outbreaks of diseases such as measles.5 Regular vaccination is needed to keep our children healthy, prevent outbreaks from occurring and to eventually eradicate these diseases altogether. Infectious diseases are easily passed from person to person and entire communities can rapidly become infected. If a high enough proportion of a community is protected by vaccination, it makes it difficult for the disease to spread because the number of people who can be infected is so small.
Your immune system is there to protect you by vaccinating your child, you give his/her immune system all the tools it needs to keep them safe from many severe diseases – Meike Heurich-Sevcenco, BSI Vaccine Champion
This type of protection is known as herd immunity and is particularly crucial for some individuals who are unable to receive some vaccines. This may include those that are too young, undergoing certain medical treatment or have a health condition that impairs the function of their immune system . Declines in herd immunity caused by decreasing vaccination rates have recently caused outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in the UK.6,7
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How The Vaccines Work
These vaccines will protect you from getting severely ill or dying if you get COVID-19.
The vaccines train your immune system to recognise and clear out the virus, before it makes you seriously ill. Your body’s immune system builds this protection over time.
You are fully protected 7 to 14 days after your second dose.
The virus that causes COVID-19 has spikes of protein on each viral particle. These spike proteins allow the virus to attach to cells and cause disease.
The vaccines help the body to:
- recognise these spike proteins as a threat
- fight the coronavirus that has these proteins.
What Are Mrna Vaccines And How Do They Work
Vaccines help prepare the body to fight foreign invaders , to prevent infection. All vaccines introduce into the body a harmless piece of a particular bacteria or virus, triggering an immune response. Most vaccines contain a weakened or dead bacteria or virus. However, scientists have developed a new type of vaccine that uses a molecule called messenger RNA rather than part of an actual bacteria or virus. Messenger RNA is a type of RNA that is necessary for protein production. In cells, mRNA uses the information in genes to create a blueprint for making proteins. Once cells finish making a protein, they quickly break down the mRNA. mRNA from vaccines does not enter the nucleus and does not alter DNA.
Like all vaccines in the United States, mRNA vaccines require authorization or approval from the Food and Drug Administration before they can be used. Currently vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, are the only authorized or approved mRNA vaccines. These vaccines use mRNA that directs cells to produce copies of a protein on the outside of the coronavirus known as the spike protein. Researchers are studying how mRNA might be used to develop vaccines for additional infectious diseases.
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What Is A Vaccine And How Do Vaccines Work
A vaccine is a type of medicine that trains the bodys immune system so that it can fight a disease it has not come into contact with before. Vaccines are designed to prevent disease, rather than treat a disease once you have caught it.
To understand how vaccines work, it helps to look first at how the immune system works, because vaccines harness the natural activity of your immune system. This short animation explains how vaccines enable the body to make the right sort of antibodies to fight a particular disease. .
About The Author Megan Coffee
Megan Coffee, MD, PhD , is an infectious disease doctor in New York City. She has worked on epidemics around the world from Ebola, cholera to the current virus and has also managed a TB clinic in Haiti with the non-profit Ti Kay. She went to Harvard University for college and medical school and received her doctoral degree from Oxford University, before training in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and in Infectious Diseases at the University of California at San Francisco. She is on faculty at New York University Grossman School of Medicine and also teaches at Columbia University on infectious diseases and outbreak response. She additionally works with colleagues on computation methods and artificial intelligence methods to better predict and respond to epidemics.
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How Long Will Immunity Last
Scientists are still studying exactly how long the vaccine’s protection will last. The volunteers who were part of the COVID-19 vaccine studies agreed to be followed for two years to help researchers determine exactly how long immunity lasts.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to achieve immunity. This ensures that your immune system will build up enough antibodies to remember and protect against future COVID infections. Learn more important facts about the COVID vaccine.
Quick To Market But Still Safe
Safety is the first and foremost goal for a vaccine, says William Petri, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia. A lot of people have expressed safety concerns based on how fast these vaccines were developed, approved and distributed.
According to Petri, the vaccines still went through every normal step they just did them simultaneously.
In my opinion, safety is not compromised by the speed of vaccine development and emergency use authorization. The reason that vaccines may be approved so quickly is that the large clinical trials to assess vaccine efficacy and safety are happening at the same time as the large-scale manufacturing preparation, funded by the federal governments Operation Warp Speed program.
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What Are Rna Vaccines And How Do They Work
Conventional vaccines usually contain inactivated disease-causing organisms or proteins made by the pathogen , which work by mimicking the infectious agent. They stimulate the bodys immune response, so it is primed to respond more rapidly and effectively if exposed to the infectious agent in the future.
RNA vaccines use a different approach that takes advantage of the process that cells use to make proteins: cells use DNA as the template to make messenger RNA molecules, which are then translated to build proteins. An RNA vaccine consists of an mRNA strand that codes for a disease-specific antigen. Once the mRNA strand in the vaccine is inside the bodys cells, the cells use the genetic information to produce the antigen. This antigen is then displayed on the cell surface, where it is recognised by the immune system.
What You Need To Know
- Messenger RNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.
- Like all vaccines, mRNA vaccines benefit people who get vaccinated by giving them protection against diseases like COVID-19 without risking the potentially serious consequences of getting sick.
- mRNA vaccines are newly available to the public. However, researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades.
- CDC recommends that people who are starting their vaccine series or getting a booster dose get either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna . The mRNA vaccines are preferred over Johnson & Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in most circumstances, but the J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.
- The same COVID-19 mRNA vaccine product should be used for both doses of a two-dose primary series and for an additional primary dose, if needed. However, for a booster dose, the booster dose product does not need to match the product used for the primary series.
- Learn more about getting your vaccine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are messenger RNA vaccines also called mRNA vaccines. mRNA vaccines are some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized and approved for use in the United States.
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Mrna Vaccines Are Newly Available To The Public But Have Been Studied For Decades
Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means vaccines can be developed and produced in large quantities faster than with other methods for making vaccines.
mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus . As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine.
Future mRNA vaccine technology may allow for one vaccine to provide protection against multiple diseases, thus decreasing the number of shots needed for protection against common vaccine-preventable diseases.
Beyond vaccines, cancer research has used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.