January 20, 2021


Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are the first type of vaccine created to fight against COVID-19.

But how does a mRNA vaccine work exactly? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some vaccines put a weakened or inactive germ into our bodies to trigger an immune response, however, that is not the case for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Read below for a few facts to help you better understand how the COVID-19 vaccines work in our bodies.

  1. mRNA vaccines do not inject a live virus into your arm. Therefore, you cannot get COVID-19 from either of the authorized vaccines in the United States.
  2. mRNA vaccines teach our bodies how to create an immune response to COVID-19. The vaccine teaches our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response in our bodies. Once the protein is made, cells recognize that it’s not supposed to be in our bodies, so they begin building immunity by making antibodies. This replicates the natural process that our bodies take when a person has COVID-19.
  3. mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with DNA. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA or genetic material is kept. The cell breaks down the mRNA and gets rid of it soon after it uses the ‘instructions’ to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

COVID-19 vaccines are intensely monitored for safety and consistently evaluated to ensure that they are helpful and not harmful. mRNA vaccines have been studied and used for decades, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will only approve vaccines that have met the safety and effectiveness standards as all other vaccines in the United States.

If you have more questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, register for our upcoming webinar to hear the facts from physicians and a pharmacist about the vaccine.

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Sarah Michaels

Authored By

Sarah Michaels , RN

Director of Kinetiq Health
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