The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has changed the lives of people all over the world. As of August 2021, the virus has already killed more than 4.5 million people worldwide. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the new coronavirus has killed more than 7,000 people in Georgia. Scientists agree that vaccines are an important way to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, vaccination scares too many people. Although there is a lot of information on the Internet about the principle of action of COVID-19 vaccines, it is often quite difficult to understand. We will try to explain this story to you relatively easily.
Vaccines are made to look like viruses
The most important story about vaccines is that they teach your body how to fight infection so that the body itself does not have to deal with the infection. In this way, vaccines prepare your body against the microbes that would otherwise make you very sick.
All COVID-19 vaccines focus on the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 drop protein. SARS-CoV-2 is a round virus that has blister-like growths on its surface. These growths are called droplet proteins.
This virus enters the cells through these droplets of proteins and makes copies of itself. The virus does this by landing on certain proteins in human cells called receptors, especially in lung cells. This is how the virus enters healthy cells and infects them.
Vaccines provide the body with instructions for producing these droplet proteins. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines carry out these instructions in a molecule called mRNA (information RNA). This single-stranded molecule looks like a long piece of ribbon encoded with instructions for protein production.
Vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca transmit instructions to cells via a DNA molecule. A drop in human cells is used to transmit proteins to DNA from a virus called adenovirus, which is unable to make copies of itself. This DNA is copied into mRNA, which translates the following instructions into proteins – in this case coronavirus droplets.
Thus, the only difference between these vaccines is that Pfizer and Moderna give your body the instructions for the drop protein via mRNA, while Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca use DNA. After that, they act in the same way.
What happens after the vaccine enters your body?
Once you get the COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA or DNA is swallowed by tissue cells and special immune cells in the muscle, as well as dendritic cells. Dendritic cells guard the entire body like watchmen and look for signs of invading microbes, such as the coronavirus.
As soon as DNA or mRNA enters dendritic cells or tissue cells, these cells begin to produce droplet proteins using the instructions provided by them. This process usually takes less than 12 hours. Once the drop proteins are made and visible to the immune system, the cells break down and destroy the mRNA and DNA.
It is important to remember one thing – even though your cells themselves produce drop proteins, they do not have enough information to make a copy of the whole virus. However, droplet proteins can cause the body’s immune system to strengthen its defense mechanism so that it is already ready for a total coronavirus invasion.
When tissue cells and dendritic cells perceive droplet proteins as unwanted guests, the cells place sections of droplet protein on their own surface for other cells to see. In addition, the “danger” signal is also emitted by dendritic cells to alert the cells that the drop protein is a threat.
After that, these warning signals boost your body’s immune responses.
What happens after your immune system is stimulated?
Thanks to this process, the body is already at the height of its calling and ready to fight the invading bodies – in this case, the fight against the drop proteins produced after the COVID-19 vaccine is made.
Immune cells in the body, called B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes, recognize the warning signs of externally invading bodies. Thousands of such cells are fleeing the required area to explore new threats and provide defenses as well.
B-lymphocytes produce antibodies that destroy drop proteins. Different B-lymphocytes produce many specialized antibodies that recognize different parts of a virus or bacterium. B-lymphocytes are the kind of factories that continue to produce antibodies against the invading threat even after it no longer exists; As a result, the body is protected for a long time to come.
Upon the alarm signal, B-lymphocytes are assisted in the production of antibodies by one type of T-lymphocyte called auxiliary T-lymphocytes. Meanwhile, another type of T-lymphocyte is being checked to see if other cells in the body are infected with the virus. If these T-lymphocytes are detected in infected cells, they are destroyed so that more copies can no longer be produced and the infection can no longer be transmitted to other cells.
Why does our arm hurt?
Since all these important processes take place in your body, you may notice some physical signs that there is a big fight going on under your skin at this time. The cause of pain in the arm after vaccination is that immune cells, such as dendritic cells, T-lymphocytes, and B-lymphocytes, run to the arm to check for danger.
You may also have a fever or other signs of illness. It all means that your body is doing exactly what you wanted it to do. It is a safe and natural process that takes place when the body learns to fight off drop proteins. That way, if you then come in contact with a real coronavirus, your body has already learned how to protect itself from it.