How Do Messenger RNA (mRNA) Vaccines Work?
mRNA vaccines give your body the information needed to defend against a virus.
- mRNA has instructions for making the spike protein from SARS-CoV-2.
- mRNA enters a human muscle cell through an injection.
- mRNA in the cell delivers the Instructions to make the spike protein. It lasts about 24 hrs.
- Cell makes spike protein and displays it on the surface for about 3 days.
- Immune system sees the spike protein, recognizes it as foreign, and creates an immune response to prevent disease.
How Many Doses Are Needed?
These vaccines require 2 doses to get the most benefit.
- 1 DOSE = about 50% protection
- 2 DOSES = about 95% protection
Content last reviewed on May 12, 2021