Day: February 24, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

HOW COVID-19 VACCINES WORK

COVID-19 vaccines protect people from getting COVID-19. These vaccines “teach” your body how to defend against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

The first COVID-19 vaccines approved in the United States are called mRNA vaccines. They work differently from other vaccines.

  • COVID-19 mRNA vaccines tell cells in the body how to briefly create a harmless piece of “spike” protein that is unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • This protein triggers an immune response inside your body, making antibodies that protect against COVID-19. Your immune system then learns to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if you are ever exposed to it.
  • COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any live virus, and they cannot give you COVID-19. They also never affect or interfere with your genes (DNA).

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is given as an injection (shot) in the arm in 2 doses.

  • You will receive the second shot in about
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