We have a few Covid vaccines by different companies currently available to some. What everyone knows is that this vaccine is different from any other vaccine we have. So, what is the Covid vaccine?
This post is not to spread fear, conspiracy theories, or become political. I believe that being prepared also means being educated and informed so that we can make the best decisions for our lives. With that being said, I will be using information from Moderna, CDC, and the genome government website to help you understand what the Covid vaccine is and how it works. My hope is that with this information, you will be able to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Please note, I am not a doctor, nurse or anyone in the medical field, please consult with your medical professional for additional information.
What is the Covid Vaccine? Biology Lesson
A Biology Lesson
In order to fully understand the Covid vaccine and how it works, we must first take a step back into high school biology where we learned about DNA and RNA. It’s important to understand what both are so that we can decipher between fact and fiction from online sources.
What is DNA?
Our DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) contains biological instructions that make all of us unique. It is made up of four types of nitrogen bases. To make DNA even more complicated, its instruction book contains 3 billion bases and about 20,000 genes on 23 pairs of chromosomes.
DNA contains all the instructions needed for us to develop, survive, and reproduce! However, DNA cannot do this on its own. To carry out these functions to help us develop, survive, and reproduce, DNA must be converted into messages that can be used to make proteins.
What are Proteins?
Proteins are complex molecules that do most of the work in our bodies.
What is RNA?
RNA is an acronym for ribonucleic acid. It is physically different from DNA but is similar. RNA is the carrier of genetic information. It is basically a single strand copy of DNA. There are several types of RNA:
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) mRNA accounts for just 5% of the total RNA in the cell.
- Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) …
- Transfer RNA (tRNA) …
- Small nuclear RNA (snRNA) …
- Regulatory RNAs. …
- Transfer–messenger RNA (tmRNA) …
- Ribozymes (RNA enzymes) …
- Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)
For the purpose of this post, we will discuss mRNA…
What is mRNA?
mRNA is an acronym for messenger RNA. DNA is converted into mRNA so it is readable to our amino acids. mRNA gives instructions or messages to the amino acids which are the building blocks to proteins.
So, basically you start with DNA, then is transcribed into mRNa, next amino acids translate the mRNA, and then proteins are created. Here’s what it would look like before amino acids translate it:
What is the Covid Vaccine?
Now that we have a little biology knowledge, it’s time to figure out what the Covid vaccine is. The Covid vaccine is a new type of vaccine that uses mRNA. mRNA medicines are not like traditional pharmaceuticals. They are not recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies. Instead, mRNA medicines are sets of instructions. These instructions direct your cells to make proteins to prevent or fight a disease.
How the Covid Vaccine Works?
At Moderna, they are leveraging the role mRNA plays in protein synthesis. Thus, they created mRNA sequences that your cells recognize as if they were produced by your own body. Here’s how they did this:
- First, they determined the desired protein sequence (kill Covid).
- Then, they created and designed an mRNA sequence or code that would create the protein in our bodies.
- Next, they deliver the instructions into the cells responsible for making that protein.
- Once the mRNA or code is in the cell, human biology takes over to read the code and build the “spike proteins” needed to beat Covid.
Basically, the Covid vaccine gives you a code or instructions for your body to create the proteins that tell your body how to beat Covid without the virus ever entering your body.
It’s kind of like when we write a code for a computer. The computer reads that code and then the computer works the way you want it to.
How Traditional Vaccines Work
Traditional vaccines work by using a weakened virus or a critical piece of a virus’s protein coat to trick your body into having antibodies against it. However, this requires growing large amounts of a virus, weakening the virus or extracting the critical piece which takes a long time!
Because of traditional vaccines taking so much time, scientists wanted to find an easier way to achieve the same thing.
Does the Covid Vaccine Change Your DNA?
The short answer is NO! If we understand how biology works (see above), we know that mRNA is created from DNA. Thus, mRNA cannot go backwards and change your DNA. In essence, the vaccine is telling your body that it already got these instructions from your DNA. So, it is not changing your DNA. The vaccine is, however, delivering a code or information into your body that tells your body how to beat Covid.
How Long Have mRNA Vaccines Been Researched?
Because of wanting an easier method of creating vaccines that didn’t take as long, scientists began exploring other options in vaccine creation 30 years ago. One of these options was mRNA vaccines. This process actually didn’t happen in 9-months. It took decades of research to get mRNA vaccines to work.
Scientists had to learn a variety of things such as:
- How to modify mRNA so it did not produce violent immune system reactions.
- Ways to encourage the immune system cells to gobble up the mRNA as it went through the bloodstream .
- How to coax the cells to make large amounts of a critical piece of protein
- And, how to enclose the mRNA to protect it from being destroyed by chemicals in our blood.
Why are they Recommending it Even if You Had Covid?
Along the way, scientists also learned that mRNA vaccines can actually generate a stronger type of immunity because they stimulate the immune system to make antibodies and immune system killer cells. This is a double strike at the virus.
Why are There Two Doses?
Because Covid is a new virus, our body is not used to it. The first shot of the Covid vaccine prime’s the immune system, helping it to first recognize the virus. It’s my understanding that the second shot strengthens your immune system helping it to achieve an immune response.
Are There Side Effects?
As with any vaccine, there are side effects, and they affect each of us differently! The most commonly reported side effects that can last several days include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
Less common side effects include:
- Allergic reaction such as
- Anaphylaxis shock
Neither Pfizer or Moderna have ingredients that are big allergens. Neither company really knows what exactly could be causing allergic reactions other than a person may be allergic to one of the ingredients in the vaccine. Experts have been eying polyethylene glycol as it is known to cause allergic reactions rarely.
There have only been about 100 reports of allergic reactions out of about 2 million doses of the vaccine. However, I believe it is very important to know if you could be allergic to it. One way to know is to know all the ingredients that are found in the vaccine. If you are allergic to any of those ingredients, you could have an allergic reaction to the Covid vaccine.
What’s in Pfizer?
- Lipids ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate), 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide, 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3- phosphocholine, and cholesterol)
- Potassium chloride
- Monobasic potassium phosphate
- Sodium chloride
- Dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
What’s in Moderna?
- Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA)
- Lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])
- Tromethamine hydrochloride
- Acetic acid
- Sodium acetate
Should I Get the Covid Vaccine?
I can’t give you that answer. I am not a doctor or specialist. What I hope is that you can read the information, understand how it works, and make the best decision for YOU! I recommend doing your own research, talking to your doctor, and seeing what other people have said about getting the vaccine. You can get both positive and negative feedback by joining the group COVID-19 Vaccination Reaction and Feedback.
Covid Vaccine Summary
The Covid Vaccine is a new type of vaccine that we have never used before. mRNA vaccinations have been studied for about 30-years, however have never been put into practice until this year. The Covid vaccine works by delivering a synthetic mRNA into your bloodstream. The mRNA has a genetic code or set of instructions that tells your amino acids how to build the protein needed to beat Covid. It’s my understanding that it does not alter your DNA.
I will not put my opinion on the Covid vaccine. Nor will I guide you in the way you should proceed. Knowledge is power. So, I wanted you to be informed. As I did the research, my head was spinning as I dug deeper and deeper into the information I found. When it comes to making critical medical health decisions for you and your family, I’d rely on information from your doctor, other health experts, published medical journals, and other reliable information that may be available on the Internet. So please ask questions, look for answers, and make a decision that is best for you! May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Covid Vaccine Deposit photos_351906518_s-2019