How do Covid-19 Vaccines Work? Since the emergence of the novel Coronavirus, a lot of information about the need to strengthen the immune system went viral, but how does this system work in our human bodies? And how do the vaccines – that have begun to be distributed and used in several countries – help it fight the virus?
Undoubtedly, the immune system is very vital the survival of human beings, as it defends the human body through several functions, on top of which are the immune cells alerting the body to the appearance of infected cells and the occurrence of an attack on it. The stimulation process is followed by activating the so-called “acquired immunity” in order to protect the body in the future, and here comes the role of the medical vaccine.
Danny Altman, an expert in immunology and infectious diseases at Imperial College London, explains to the British Guardian website that acquired immunity has something like a memory, “which is what is employed in vaccines.”
Acquired immunity consists of two types of white blood cells, the first type B, known as B cells, produces antibodies that stick to the virus inside the body to prevent it from entering the cells, while the second type T kills the cells that have already been infected with the virus.
T cells also produce substances called cytokines, which help the B cells to secrete antibodies in the long term, especially when the body is exposed to the same virus again, which explains the multiple japs that needed to be taken to acquire the immunity.
In this video: https://youtu.be/XgE-9jPatQw, the previous structuring of the B and T cells is furtherly explained.
It explains that the B and T cells and the resulting substances and antibodies usually fight any virus that enters the body. However, several studies indicated that some people with Covid 19 virus contained some of these elements, but not all of them, and that the response of the immune system to other cases caused the prolongation of infection with the virus for weeks or months.
A newly published study, in a journal specialized in microbiology, indicated that the antibodies to the Coronavirus remain in the body for only three months, after which the number of antibodies begins to diminish. While another study published on the Science Alert website indicated that the antibodies would persist in the body for a period ranging between six to eight months.
However, Professor of Influenza Viruses at Imperial College London, Wendy Barclay, points out that the resurgence of seasonal viruses that cause colds and influenza means that “immunity does not extend for long periods,” what is meant here for years, a view supported by an increasing number of researches.
While seasonal influenza needs to get a different vaccine every year for the ability of this virus to mutate, so far, no evidence has emerged of the ability of the Coronavirus to mutate like influenza. The good news here is that all the recently announced vaccines, Moderna, Sputnik V, Pfizer and Sinovac and many others, work to stimulate the
immune system to provide the required protection against the Covid 19. The next table shows the differences among Covid-19 vaccines.
The expert in immunology and infectious diseases, Danny Altman, said that the new strain, which was announced in England, “is unlikely to cause problems in the process of obtaining the vaccine.” Vaccines are still able to stimulate the production of antibodies to the virus and
the tapered protein it contains helps it penetrate cells in the human body.
The vaccine can work better than natural immunity, but it is not clear yet for how long the vaccines will have an effect and whether they are able to prevent transmission as well as protect against infection with the virus.
Many communities and scientists are skeptical about the nature of vaccines and they have many concerns of injecting (untrusted) chemicals in their bodies, while others find the whole Covid-19 pandemic issue to be a conspiracy theory, with no exact evidence or mentioning for the beneficiary parties.
Nevertheless, vaccination technology has evolved dramatically in the last decades resulting into different sophisticated technologies that ensure immunity as shown in this video: https://youtu.be/- 92HQA0GcI8. The technology of dealing with very tiny objects and hacking into their system using the RNA is very promising. The recovery of Covid-19 requires awareness of people and governments. Natural selection is very powerful and will work eventually, but many lives would have been lost by then, therefore, getting vaccinated is the fastest way to get back to normal lives.
Li Q, Guan X, Wu P, Wang X, Zhou L, Tong Y, et al. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2020.
World Health Organization. WHO Director-General’s remarks at the media briefing on 2019-nCoV on 11 February 2020. 2020.
Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, Bretzel G, Froeschl G, Wallrauch C, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV infection from an asymptomatic contact in Germany. N Engl J Med. 2020.