You know when you were little and had to go to a doctor’s office each year to get a flu shot? This is the flu vaccine, which is essentially injecting the flu virus into you…but there’s more to it.
So where’s the coronavirus vaccine? Why are they not done yet? How long will it take?
A virus is not a living organism, so it needs a host to latch onto and keep living. The virus can spread through air circulation, human contact, and can live on surfaces for a certain amount of time.
Once it has entered a host cell, it begins to manipulate that single cell’s DNA.
These new virus cells begin to multiply in your body. Good thing your immune system kicks in! Your good cells from your immune system start to take note of the bad cells’ information.
This is where a vaccine is important. What if your good cells already had the information they needed to know to fight off this virus? What if your immune system was trained to fight the specific virus off?
A vaccine is a modified, weaker version of the virus. It is injected into the bloodstream and seen as a threat by the good cells. They treat it how they would treat an illness. The memory cells then have the information they need to fight off the virus if it were to enter your body.
When a modified version of the virus is injected into you, it isn’t powerful enough to get you sick, but it is strong enough for the good cells to take its information and produce antibodies for it. These antibodies work against the virus if you were to get sick with the real thing.
But, why do you need some vaccinations every year? Vaccines and viruses are constantly being manipulated and mutated, so your body has to learn new information to fight it off.
So about that coronavirus vaccine…
According to the New York Times, researchers are currently testing 38 vaccines with human trials.
A known trial leading to success is the mRNA 1273…fancy right?!
This trial vaccine uses the coding of the proteins on the outside of the virus to train the immune system to create antibodies.
Once a vaccine is tested with successful results, it will begin mass production and make its way into the world.
Distribution of the vaccine will give the world a spark of hope. It will put the people at ease, lower tensions, lessen chaos, and hopefully prepare researchers in future scientific discoveries.
Although this time is full of unknowns, there are many things to be hopeful for in the future.