COVID-19 Vaccine | How It Works - Genesis Health System

How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?

Vaccines are medicine used to boost your body’s immune system to prevent disease. COVID-19 vaccines are designed to trigger an antibody that helps your body prevent illness caused by COVID-19. 

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Children 5-11 Years of Age Eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Children 12-15 Years of Age Eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Children 16+ Eligible for Vaccinations

At this time, in both Iowa and Illinois, those 16 and up are able to get their COVID vaccinations set by the State Health Departments. IOWA | ILLINOIS.

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Tell me more about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.

Do the vaccines use the live virus that causes COVID-19?

The vaccine does not contain live or dead virus. It contains genetic material called mRNA. It is synthetic mRNA made in the laboratory. It contains instructions for a protein known as S protein.

This mRNA is enclosed in a lipid envelope in the vaccine. Once the vaccine is given, it is taken up by cells. Inside the cytoplasm, mRNA is released from its envelope. Then mRNA makes S protein. This S protein then incites immune response from body. The vaccine recipient makes antibody against this S protein which helps to provide immunity against COVID-19

Will the vaccines change my DNA?

DNA resides in the nucleus of cell. mRNA never enters the nucleus of cell. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it does its job.

Do the vaccines coming out first use fetal cells in production?

Fetal cells are not used in the production of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or the Moderna vaccine.

What if I already have had COVID-19? Do I still need to get the vaccine?

According to preliminary data, the vaccine produces a more robust response as compared to natural infection. Therefore, the vaccine can increase your protection from the virus. Current recommendation is to give the vaccine even after COVID-19 infection, unless there is shortage of vaccine. If there is shortage, people recovering from COVID-19 infection can defer the vaccine up to 90 days.


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