Now That We Have It, What Does The COVID Vaccine Do?
With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the first questions was, “What does this thing do to you?”
SCIENCE! performed a miracle with 3 vaccines released in less than 1 year,
So the next question is, “What the hell is the vaccine going to do to me?”
This is a good question, as all entries use a technique different from that of normal vaccines, and might seem a little scary at first.
So ASAPScience dug into exactly what the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do and how they work…
The Short Answer:
- We were initially scared about COVID’s effects.
- Now we have to worry about what the vaccines do.
- They were actually engineered to work like viruses.
- They take a small piece of virus-code and train your immune system.
- This method is faster because smaller components are needed.
- You also do not need to be inoculated with a version of the real virus.
- The hurdle has always been getting the vaccine into your cells.
- And storing it cold enough to get effective product to the consumer.
- The vaccine appears safe so far and serious allergic reactions represent 0.001% of subjects injected.
- Some people may still be allergic to the vaccine, possibly to a component in it called PEG.
- The CDC has published safety guidelines on allergies, monitoring, and administration.
- The current vaccines appear effective against all known mutations.
- Staying cautious is still very important.
- Herd immunity is still very far away.
- The effects of serious COVID-19 infection can include long-term brain damage.
- Cases are still surging, especially in the US.
- Supplies of treatments like Remdesivir are low.
Read on to find out the details…
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So the entire world, including the stock market, was really excited when Pfizer and then Moderna announced their successful trials,
And the unbelievable efficacy-rate of their vaccines just a short while ago.
It was even more exciting for 90 year-old Margaret Keenan who on December 8th, became one of the first people in the whole world to be vaccinated.
And just like a normal vaccine, she just got a shot in her arm.
But that’s where the similarity ends.
Normal vaccination is the end-result of creating either a killed or weakened version of the actual virus,
That then gets injected into you, for your immune system to attack and learn-from, thanks to history-redefining genius Edward Jenner.
But that’s where most of the similarity ends.
Because as they explain, your cells turn you into you by taking the set of all possible codes from your DNA,
Put it through a special mechanism that reads it and then of all things, turns it into mRNA,
-The central mechanism of the Pfizer & Moderna vaccines.
This little bit of code then exits the center of the cell and another type of mechanism turns it into more code,
In the form of first Amino-Acids, and then Proteins, which go on to make up your entire physical structure and keep you alive.
(and incidentally, what the disease-curing super-compute project Folding-At-Home is all about)
The most interesting quirk of the 2 new vaccines, is that they actually borrow this process.
Weirder-still, is the fact that SCIENCE figured out a way to use it,
Because it’s the Exact. Same. Mechanism. that the viruses themselves use to make all those copies of themselves,
That infect you and make you sick.
But wait just a second, because the science gets even better.
Because the research teams made the whole process even faster by picking on one of coronavirus’ chief quirks.
What they did was to just get enough of this little genetic instruction to have your cells make exact copies of coronavirus spikes.
-To which you might say, “Hey, that doesn’t sound good!”
Which is the exact point!
Because your immune-system goes in and says the same thing.
The really fast and unique part of this approach is that the labs don’t have to waste precious time during a pandemic,
Creating the exactly-right killed or weakened virus, which could also be risky to use, and time-consuming to perfect and de-risk.
By giving your body a tiny, harmless version of the coronavirus instruction,
Pfizer and Moderna get your body to train-up for infection in an extremely-safe and fast way,
Without you ever having to get close to the real thing, that could hurt some people.
Now your immune-system knows what to fight and prepares to do so.
Not just the 3 months that had been speculated earlier.
More like at-least 8 months and probably more like several years.
So if these vaccines are so great, why haven’t they been used before?
Because it’s easier and less technologically-demanding to make vaccines the old way.
You’ve probably heard about “The Cold Chain” and how in order to transport these new fixes from the lab,
They have to travel at some fairly-insane low-temperatures.
It’s also costly, because dispensaries then have to thaw a certain amount out.
Then, that batch is only good for 5 days, at standard fridge-temperatures.
The reason, is that even though labs have been experimenting with mRNA tech for awhile,
Getting the instructions into your cells was the real hurdle.
How do you package the code so it can bypass everything in your body that’s there to protect you from an outside insult?
Scientists have to use some very fancy fat-based packaging so the bits can survive until they get into your cell & nucleus.
This is also why the vaccines have to be kept so cold, or the fats would just melt.
As we said before, it’s also a lot faster than custom bio-engineering.
But here comes the elephant in the room: Is the vaccine safe?
So far, the number and type of side-effects is small.
There have been a few reported deaths around the world in Jerusalem, Switzerland, India, and Florida.
None of these have so-far been attributed directly to the vaccine, and all those subjects were either known or suspected of having pre-existing problems prior to vaccination.
Also, the rate of serious allergic-reaction to Pfizer’s vaccine is 10 times the rate of that for the general Flu vaccine,
However, this rate still remains very low at 0.001% of all subjects so far.
Some of these include:
1) Avoiding the vaccine if you’ve ever had a reaction to its components, like PEG
2) If you have a reaction to the first shot, don’t get the second.
3) Talking to your doctor first about any history of vaccine-allergies.
4) It is possible for people with different non-vaccine allergies to still get vaccinated.
5) Staying at the vaccination clinic and be monitored for at-least 30 minutes, even if nobody asks you to.
They even published guidelines for administration, and also how to prepare for people who do have an allergic reaction.
However, ASAP does point out that vaccine-research professor Shane Crotty notes that some pain & soreness is normal.
All of that being said, even despite the speed at which the vaccines were developed,
Even though we have those main new mutations right now, the UK and South African, there have actually been 16 total in just COVID-19.
Don’t let your guard down, because even with the Biden administration’s plan to release all the doses it has,
Relying on future-production to catch up, so it can get at least some kind of immunity to as many people as quickly as possible,
Herd immunity is still very far off according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
And even Sweden’s experiment in no lockdowns or restrictions still has not resulted in herd-immunity.
And infections are surging; again.
It would also be reckless to count on enough doses of Remdesivir being around soon enough to help you,
Because not everyone can be treated with that once they’re infected.
But also, because COVID results in lasting-changes in many people, including long-term brain damage.
So let’s all take another moment to thank the geniuses at Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca for coming up with these amazing fixes more quickly than any vaccine has ever been developed before.
And try not to be afraid because what the COVID-19 vaccines do to you is looking overwhelmingly-good!
• Source: ASAPScience
• More Coverage: CDC – Allergic Reactions | CDC – Vaccine Info | CDC – Patients Who Had Allergic Reactions Short Report