Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Credit: Houston Methodist
Credit: Houston Methodist

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to thousands of people to test if they protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Though the end goal is the same, these vaccines vary in the ways in which they try to trigger our immune system to recognise the virus.

Other types of vaccines often use inactive or weakened forms of a virus to trigger an immune response. But RNA vaccines use a virus’s own genetic code against it. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid; you’re probably more familiar with DNA, the molecule which makes up human genetic code. RNA makes up the virus genetic code, which contains instructions for the proteins the virus needs to make.


RNA vaccines have several benefits over other vaccine types. The most obvious is the pace at which we can make them… Synthetic RNA is straightforward to make in a lab, so it doesn’t take long to design and produce these vaccines.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

RNA vaccines also have safety benefits. The synthetic RNA can’t cause illness – though it’s a blueprint for virus spike protein production in our bodies’ cells, production of this protein alone can’t trigger an infection. The RNA itself gets broken down by normal processes in our cells, so it doesn’t hang around for long anyway.


Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend