Pretty excited about this coronavirus vaccine, and not only because it’s gonna get me back at the dinner table having awkward small talk with my family, but because this vaccine and the way that it works is really cool, instead of injecting you with like dead pieces of virus, they inject you with RNA from the virus.
So the way that this works is that your cells are pretty dumb. They don’t know whether the RNA that they have is from humans or from virus. They just know that they have RNA, and they’re gonna make a protein. And the protein that they turn this RNA into is the spike protein of coronavirus. Now, alone, this spike protein doesn’t really do anything.
But when it’s on the outside of the virus, it helps that virus find new cells and start making little baby viruses. If your cells take this RNA in and start making this protein, the immune cells show up and they’re like, “Hey, who made this? We should make antibodies and shut this down.” And so then you have antibodies!