You are here

The Science of Vaccines: How the COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Helps Your Immune System Fight COVID-19

Publication Number: P3872
View as PDF: P3872.pdf
  1. Scientists take a part of a virus's genetic code that tells cells what to do.
  2. and coat it in a fatty layer to protect it and allow it to enter cells
  3. This is injected into our arm muscles. Our muscles have immune cells to start the immune response.
    Muscle tissue also keeps the vaccine components localized, meaning that it stays in the arm muscle and rarely moves anywhere else.
  4. The vaccine then tells our cells to produce the virus’s spike protein.
  5. Spike proteins are recognized as intruders by the immune system, causing the production of a protective army (antibodies & T cells) that can specifically recognize and fight the coronavirus.
  6. Now, if you get infected with the real coronavirus, the body remembers those spike proteins, and triggers your protective army to quickly and powerfully fight off the virus.

This work was, in part, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Agreement OT2HL158287. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the NIH.

Publication 3872 (02-23)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is working to ensure all web content is accessible to all users. If you need assistance accessing any of our content, please email the webteam or call 662-325-2262.

Select Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Mr. Tom Ball
Extension Associate III
Portrait of Dr. Courtney Crist
Associate Extension Professor
Portrait of Ms. Anne Howard Hilbun-Benoit
Extension Instructor
Portrait of Ms. Qula Madkin
Extension Instructor
Portrait of Dr. Rebecca Campbell Smith
Associate Extension Professor

Related Publications

Publication Number: IS1632
Publication Number: P2599
Publication Number: P3578