Vaccines help the body in fighting against infections by preparing it to combat foreign invaders (like virus, bacteria, and other pathogens). Usually, these vaccines are preparations made out of attenuated or dead viruses or bacteria. In recent times, a new vaccine that makes use of a molecule called mRNA (messenger RNA) has been developed. mRNA is required for synthesising specific proteins in the body. Upon completion of protein production, the mRNA gets disintegrated. The mRNA contained in the vaccines does not enter the nucleus or alter the DNA.
mRNA vaccines introduce a piece of mRNA corresponding to a viral protein, present on the outer membrane of the virus. (However, it does not imply that people who receive mRNA vaccines get exposed to the virus or even become infected by one). The mRNA acts as a blueprint for the cells to generate the viral protein. The body’s immune system recognises the presence of the foreign protein and synthesizes specialized proteins called antibodies. These antibodies act as a shield for the body against the specific virus and destroy them. . The antibodies remain inside the body even after getting rid of the virus. If a person gets exposed to a virus again after receiving the mRNA vaccine, the antibodies are equipped to fight against them.