COVID-19 Vaccines

mRNA vaccines, such as those developed for COVID-19, work through a multi-step process that harnesses the body’s own cellular processes to generate an immune response (Understanding COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (genome.gov). This innovative approach allows the vaccine’s genetic instructions to guide cells to produce harmless viral proteins, prompting the immune system to defend against potential infections.

  • The vaccine contains a small piece of messenger RNA (mRNA), which encodes the genetic instructions for a specific viral protein, often the spike protein found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus (Understanding COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (genome.gov).

  • The vaccine does not contain any virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19 (Understanding COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines (genome.gov).

  • The vaccine does not contain any virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19.When you receive the vaccine, your body recognizes this protein as foreign and produces an immune response (https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/covid-19/vaccine-information/how-vaccines-work).

  • When you receive the vaccine, your body recognizes this protein as foreign and produces an immune response (https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/covid-19/vaccine-information/how-vaccines-work).
  • Your immune system makes special proteins called antibodies that recognize and neutralize the virus if it enters your body (https://doh.wa.gov/emergencies/covid-19/vaccine-information/how-vaccines-work).
  • The vaccine stimulates the production of special cells called T-cells, which can help fight the virus if it enters your body (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html).
  • These immune responses, especially the antibodies, will be ready to protect you if you are exposed to the virus in the future (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html).
  • Different COVID-19 vaccines use different ways to deliver the viral protein to the body, like mRNA vaccines or vector vaccines, but the goal is to train the immune system to recognize and fight the virus (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html).
  • Vaccines are safe and effective and have undergone rigorous testing and clinical trials (CDC.gov, January 30, 2023).
  • Getting vaccinated protects you and helps protect those around you, especially people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC.gov, December 22, 2022).
  • It is important to get the vaccine as soon as it is available and to continue following public health guidelines to protect yourself and others (CDC.gov December 22, 2022).
  • It is important to note that the vaccines may not provide 100% protection, but it reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death and makes it less likely to spread the virus to others (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/index.html).