Vaccine Series #3 – COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Series #3 – Do you know what mRNAs are?

New vaccine series videos released every few days.

[Video Description: Alicia, a mixed Asian woman wearing a red ¾-sleeved shirt with long brown hair, is sitting in front of a light brown wood panel background on a rust colored couch.]

Transcript: Remember we discussed two types of vaccine, attenuated vaccines and killed vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine which doesn’t use either of these typical vaccine approaches. Instead it uses something called mRNA which means messenger RNA. Before we get into the vaccine, let’s talk about what mRNA is. In every single cell of your body, you have the full genetic code contained in the nucleus. But each cell does not need the full genetic information from DNA, only a small part of it, to make more protein to keep your cells functioning, your organs working, and YOU alive. In order to make proteins, a small part of your DNA is copied into a short sequence known as messenger RNA or mRNA. This mRNA serves a template to create a protein. The mRNA will leave the nucleus and enters the cytoplasm, away from your DNA. The protein is then created. After completing its task, the mRNA is degraded and does not affect your DNA. In the COVID-19 vaccine, scientists were able to take key proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and get the mRNA sequence necessary to become part of the vaccine. This mRNA sequence enters cytoplasm of the cell and gives the instruction to make an imitation of the viral protein. When that is complete, the mRNA is degraded. The newly created viral protein is then recognized by the immune system, captured, its identity is stored in memory for future attacks. At no point during the process did the mRNA come close to your DNA or become part of your cell. DNA stays in the nucleus while mRNA is in the cytoplasm.



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