Vaccine 101: How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

Side view shot of male nurse wearing protective mask and gloves preparing medical syringe for giving COVID-19 vaccine injection to senior patient

COVID-19 vaccines have gone through numerous tests, with Russia being the first nation in the world to register such a vaccine. Russia’s president approved the Sputnik V vaccine after yielding positive clinical trial results in the early stages. Currently, mRNA, protein subunit, and vector vaccines are going through phase 3 clinical trials on a large scale in the U.S. 

To understand how the COVID-19 vaccine works in your body, you need to know how your immune system fights the virus.

How Your Immune System Works: Your Body’s Defense

When your body gets an infection from a virus, your immune system fights that infection. Blood has two types of cells – red cells and white cells. Red cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. White blood cells fight infections. Here are three different types of white blood cells and how they fight infections in your body.

• Macrophages 

They swallow and digest dead cells and germs, but leave parts of the germs called antigens. Your body will identify antigens as dangerous to the body and stimulate antibodies that will attack them.

• B-lymphocytes

These are white blood cells that produce antibodies that attack any pieces of the virus that macrophages leave behind.

• T-lymphocytes

This is another type of white blood cell. They attack infected cells in your body.

How the COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Your Body

These three types of vaccines will prompt your body so that it recognizes and protects you from the COVID-19 virus.

• mRNA Vaccine

This type of vaccine has material from the COVID-19 virus that instructs your cells to make a unique, harmless protein. Your body will realize that the protein is a foreign substance and will build T-Lymphocytes and B-Lymphocytes. These cells will remember how to destroy and fight the virus in case of future infections.

• Protein Subunit

A protein subunit vaccine carries a harmless protein of the virus. The vaccine recognizes that the protein is foreign to your body and begins to make T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus in future infections.

• Vector Vaccine

This vaccine contains a live virus that is a weak version of COVID-19. Once the vaccine is injected inside your body, it causes your body to remember how to fight the COVID-19 virus in case of future infections.

Vaccination is one of the ways you can protect yourself and others from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will work with your immune system to fight this virus. If you want to learn more about preventing diseases in your body, enroll in the course entitled “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy