How the Vaccines Work and How Are They Different?
As people continue to be vaccinated at different rates in different countries, there are a lot of questions flying around. Here is a complete fact list for Covid-19 vaccines and how they compare. The gist is that Covid-19 vaccines are generally safe and effective but may have side effects. For a regular body to build protection and immunity against the virus, it may take up to two weeks. While getting vaccinated does allow for additional protection, it is not a definite solution for and doesn’t guarantee that you will not get Covid-19.
First of all, how does the vaccine work?
Understanding the Body’s Immune System
Are you familiar with how the human body combats illness. When a virus like Covid-19 contracts the body, the germs can attack and multiply. This is referred to as an infection and creates a natural immune response mainly composed of white blood cells. White blood cells are different from red blood cells as red blood cells simply carry oxygen to organs and respective tissues. On the other hand, white immune cells fight infections through the following domains…
- B-lymphocytes create antibodies to combat virus pieces.
- Macrophages swallow and digest germs, leaving antigens behind. The body can easily detect antigens and create antibodies to combat these dangerous phenomena.
- T-lymphocytes can attack body cells that were already infected.
When a person is invested with the Covid-19 virus, it may take a certain amount of time for the body to attack this virus in full force. But, having been infected before, the respective immune system can remember its learning experience to then protect itself against the disease.
In this respect, we store T-lymphocytes, which act as memory cells that can act against the virus. Since the body detects the familiar antigens more quickly, it produces the respective antibodies to combat them.
How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works
Through the vaccine, we can allow our body to develop this kind of immune response without having contracted the illness. While all vaccines function separately, they mainly work through memory T-lymphocytes to work better once they get in contact with the virus. A person can still get infected with the virus as it may take time for these antibodies to develop in your body right after the vaccine. The side effects post-vaccine are normal and may occur due to the immunity building process.
Different Types of Vaccines
One can refer to three main subcategories of Covid-19 vaccines that are essentially recommended and have past the necessary clinical trials. They include mRNA vaccines, protein subunit vaccines, and vector vaccines. Let’s see how they may differ.
- mRNA vaccines grant our body cells instructions for creating a protein unique to the virus through its possession of virus material. Through making copies of this protein, our cells can combat the genetic material that comes with the vaccine, building T and By lymphocytes. Later, these cells remember how they can combat the virus given the chance of infection later.
- Protein subunit vaccines also have virus proteins that can cause Covid-19, allowing the body to recognize the protein as a potential risk factor, building T lymphocytes to fight the virus.
- Vector vaccines have a different form of virus that has a modified virus containing material that causes Covid-19. This viral vector uses instructions to build T and B lymphocytes to remember how to fight the virus.
One or Two Shots for Covid-19?
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two shots, while the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine require a single shot. Full vaccination generally requires more than two weeks of having got the vaccine shot, or having had the second shot. It is important to remember to follow prevention guidelines and necessary precautions regardless.
The CDC recommends that you take the vaccine to protect yourself and your environment from the virus as the virus may cause severe illness or, even, death. It is particularly critical for those people with underlying conditions.
The bottom line is that vaccines allow your immune system to familiarize itself with the virus so that it can fight better in the case that you are exposed to the virus in the near future. Even if you are fully vaccinated, it is important to continue following necessary steps such as wearing a mask, avoiding crowded public places, keeping your social distance and maintaining a high level of hygiene.