Corona Vaccine: What happens in our bodies?

Julia Contreras

A lot of people are wondering what happens during the process of taking a coronavirus vaccine.

Well, let’s start off with what is in the vaccine first. Both the Pfizer and COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA. Messenger RNA is a single stranded molecule that corresponds to the genetic sequence of a gene. This is then transferred to a ribosome in the process of synthesizing a protein. These proteins that are made prevent the viruses and illness from entering the body. 

Once they are inside the immune cells, they are used to make the protein piece, which breaks down the instructions of the virus cell. Our immune systems will then notice that the protein does not belong there, and it will begin building an immune response in preventing it from entering. Finally, at the end of this process, our bodies will have learned how to protect us against future infection. 

Now that we know the background of the vaccine, what is in it, and how the vaccine will work in our bodies, let’s talk about the process of getting the vaccine. There are two authorized shots that are recommended in order for it to be effective. CDC does recommend that people wear a mask at all times, even when taking the vaccine. Though you may be safe considering you have received the vaccine, it is still important that you wear your mask outside of your home. Even if you have a vaccine, wearing a mask is a key tool in stopping this pandemic. 

When we take a vaccine with anything, like the flu, we are injected with the virus itself. However, with the COVID-19 vaccine, it does not contain the live virus. There are symptoms just like any other vaccine, but it does not contain the virus itself. 

Even if you already had COVID, taking this vaccine will strongly aid you in preventing the virus from entering your body again. It is recommended that you take it even if you already have or had it. The COVID vaccine will prevent you from getting the virus overall. According to the CDC, there is no way that COVID will affect you after taking the vaccine, unless you have severe and long term complications. 

After the COVID vaccine, there may be some side effects; however, they are not harshly significant. Usually, this signifies that your body is getting used to the vaccine, just like any other symptoms when taking a shot. Common side effects are: swelling on the side of the body the shot was taken, aching, fever, chills, tiredness, and a headache. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and dress lightly after doing so, and try to use or exercise your injected arm and put it to use. Other reactions are extremely rare, and would take a few days to get over the first dose. The second dose is perfectly fine so far for those who have received it. 

Due to the supply of the vaccine being limited at the moment, there are specific groups that are being offered to go first. These are called phases. In the first phase, essential workers and people aged 75 or older are receiving it. In the second phase, 1c, people aged 65-74 years old who are a high risk of illness and death go, along with 16-64 year old people with underlying medical conditions. Other essential workers are last. 

A major question that is circulating cornering the coronavirus is why kids or teenagers cannot get the vaccine yet. Though people who have medical conditions die or can contain it faster, healthy young adults and teenagers have been dying with no significant health problems in their bodies before the virus. That is how dangerous the virus is. It can ruin and completely kill the inside of a healthy young body. Right now, Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for use in people who are 16 and older. No corona vaccine has been tested on children younger than 12. Usually, with every vaccine, adults are tested first in order to see if it is safe for children to use. 

Overall, if you are worried about taking the vaccine, wondering what is in it or if it is safe, remember that there are doctors that are putting work into ending this deadly virus and putting our world back to normal. We need to do the same by wearing our masks and staying clean. Distance yourself from anyone who has the virus or from anyone in general.