COVID-19 Vaccines Demystified
Fear, contradiction and confusion have been cornerstones of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, it has carried over to the subject of covid vaccinations. This article will attempt to simplify the subject without telling anyone what they should do.
When you have an infection, it takes about seven days for the immune system to initiate an effective response. The role of the COVID-19 vaccines is to allow your immune system to begin a response in minutes, not days. Then hopefully you will not even know you were infected. For this to happen, the vaccine needs to cause the immune system to make antibodies to destroy the circulating virus and lymphocytes to destroy the virus within the cells.
There are a few
different vaccine methods. An attenuated/inactivated
vaccine is made by growing the virus, and then disabling it. These vaccines
need to be mixed with adjuvants. Adjuvants are usually toxic materials that
increase the effectiveness of the vaccine. So far only the Chinese have made
this type of vaccine. Because they create only antibodies, no lymphocytes, they
will not work if the virus has already invaded your cells.
A replication defective vaccine can produce both antibodies and lymphocytes, if it is engineered well enough to get into your cells. These need no adjuvants. This process leaves the possibility of some “viral escape’ that could cause you to get COVID-19.
Vaccine companies are working around this by using only the outer shell of the SARS virus, and then attaching it to a cold virus. This is called a recombinant replication defective vaccine. This process cannot infect a person with the SARS virus, yet causes the immune system to make antibodies. The carrier cold virus gets in the cell and causes the lymphocyte production without making you sick. This method has been around for 60 years. These vaccines likely will not be available until spring of 2021.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. use a process called messenger RNA (mRNA). This uses the genetic information of the outer shell of the SARS virus to stimulate the immune system. Again, no adjuvants necessary. The vaccine is unstable, however, making it more difficult for the mRNA to last long enough to build immunity. That is why two vaccinations are being recommended. Since it is the first time this method has been used, it does not have the long-term research safety profile of the previously mentioned methods. People with severe allergies have shown to be at risk with mRNA vaccines.
There are at least
four companies expected to soon be distributing COVID-19 vaccines. None will
have adjuvants. Knowledge is power, and hopefully this information can help
people make decisions about whether to receive the vaccine and which vaccine to
place their faith in.