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  • How mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Work


    Understanding the virus that causes COVID-19.

    Coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface, called spike proteins. These spike proteins are ideal targets for vaccines.

    What is mRNA?

    Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is genetic material that tells your body how to make proteins

    After the mRNA delivers the instructions, your cells break it down and get rid of it


    What is in the vaccine?

    The vaccine is made of mRNA wrapped in a coating that makes delivery easy and keeps the body from damaging it

    The vaccine DOES NOT contain ANY virus, so it cannot give you COVID-19.


    How does the vaccine work?

    The mRNA in the vaccine teaches your cells how to make copies of the spike protein. If you are exposed to the real virus later, your body will recognize it and know how to fight it off.

    When your body responds to the vaccine, it can sometimes cause a mild fever, headache, or chills. This is completely normal and a sign that the vaccine is working.
    Translated by The Spanish Group LLC a document translation service. This document translation is provided as a courtesy by The Spanish Group which is not affiliated with the CDC.
    Getting vaccinated? For information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit: http://cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines