COVID-19 vaccines with messenger RNA: how do they work in the body? – Present


Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is a molecule that carries the genetic code of a virus’s DNA into the cell to manufacture proteins against the infectious agent.

Traditional vaccines are made from inactivated or attenuated viruses. These vaccines train the body to recognize antigens, proteins produced by the virus. This allows the immune system to react when it is actually faced with the threat of a virus.

Messenger RNA vaccines work differently, providing genetic instructions to form these antigens directly on cells. The human body then becomes a vaccine factory.

There are currently two vaccines under development with this technology: that of Pfizer / BioNTech and that of the Moderna laboratory.

Learn more in the video

The messenger RNA of the SARS-Cov-2 virus vaccine is manufactured in the laboratory. It is introduced into the cell so that they can manufacture the specific antigens of the coronavirus: the so-called spicules, which cover the surface of the virus giving the appearance of a crown.

In contact with these proteins, the immune system will develop antibodies capable of defending the organism in case of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. This type of vaccine is considered safer than traditional vaccines.

There is no risk that the isolated spike will cause the disease in a person. Another advantage is the speed of manufacture. It only takes a few weeks to develop the antigen sequence. In addition, these innovative vaccines induce the production of immune cells, an additional defense mechanism to antibodies.

The video presented is a product of the news agency France-Presse and is narrated in Brazilian Portuguese.

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