How Do mRNA Vaccines Work?

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Two of the vaccines we have for COVID-19 have the distinction of being the first mRNA vaccines to see widespread use in humans. But how do they work, and how are they different from the litany of immunizations you probably got as a kid?

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Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html

Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines


https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/conversations/downloads/vacsafe-understand-color-office.pdf
https://microbiologysociety.org/why-microbiology-matters/what-is-microbiology/microbes-and-the-human-body/immune-system.html
https://www.cell.com/immunity/fulltext/S1074-7613(10)00368-7
https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2017.243
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7361221/
https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/Nucleotide
https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/the-information-in-dna-determines-cellular-function-6523228/
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18319-6
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41541-020-0159-8
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1690918/
https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2017.243#ref-CR7
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18797453/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16111635/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449617/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5439223/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388441/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213219820314112
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety.html
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/statement-nih-barda-fda-emergency-use-authorization-moderna-covid-19-vaccine

Images:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pfizer-BioNTech_COVID-19_vaccine_(2020)_E.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endoplasmic_reticulum#/media/File:Animal_Cell.svg

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