2021 BQ Journal Vol 42 - 20

Learn About the New mRNA
COVID-19 Vaccines
The first two COVID-19 vaccines expected to receive
authorization for use in the United States are what is
known as messenger RNA vaccines-also called
" mRNA " vaccines.
You and your patients may have questions about how mRNA
vaccines work and how safe they are.
ƒ Like all vaccines, these COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were
tested rigorously for safety before being authorized for use
in the United States.
ƒ mRNA technology is new, but not unknown. It has been
studied for decades.
ƒ mRNA vaccines do not contain live virus and carry no risk
of causing disease in the vaccinated person.
ƒ mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the
cell and does not affect or interact with a person's DNA.

After the piece of the spike protein is made, the cell breaks
down the mRNA strand and disposes of it using enzymes
in the cell. As stated above, the mRNA strand never enters
the cell's nucleus or affects the vaccine recipient's genetic
material. Knowing this helps you respond to misinformation
about how mRNA vaccines alter or modify someone's
genetic makeup.
Once displayed on the cell surface, the protein or antigen
causes the immune system to begin producing antibodies.
These antibodies are specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike
protein, which means the immune system is ready to protect
against future infection.

A new approach to vaccines

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
will continue to be rigorously
evaluated for safety

mRNA vaccines take advantage of the process that cells use
to make proteins in order to trigger an immune response
and build immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes
COVID-19. In contrast, most vaccines use weakened or
inactivated versions or components of the disease-causing
pathogen to stimulate the body's immune response to
create antibodies.

These COVID-19 mRNA vaccines went
through the same rigorous safety
assessment as all vaccines do before the
Food and Drug Administration authorizes them for use in
the United States. This included large clinical trials and data
review by a safety monitoring board.

Mechanism for Action
mRNA vaccines have strands of messenger
RNA inside a special coating. That coating
protects the mRNA from enzymes in the
body that would otherwise break it down.
The coating also helps the mRNA enter the
muscle cells near the vaccination site.

Often, patients are concerned about live vaccines. mRNA
vaccines are not live vaccines and do not use an infectious
element, so they carry no risk of causing disease in the
vaccinated person.

mRNA vaccines are new,
but not unknown

mRNA vaccines tell our cells to make a piece of the " spike
protein " that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Since only part of the protein is made, it does not harm the
vaccine recipient, but it is antigenic and thus stimulates the
immune system to make antibodies.

U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention

12/11/20

Currently, there are no licensed mRNA
vaccines in the United States. However,
researchers have been studying them for
decades.

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines

Diagnostics I Pharmaceuticals I DxRx Solutions I Continuing Education I News
A Henry Schein Publication

20


http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines

2021 BQ Journal Vol 42

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2021 BQ Journal Vol 42

Table of Contents
2021 BQ Journal Vol 42 - Cover1
2021 BQ Journal Vol 42 - 2
2021 BQ Journal Vol 42 - Table of Contents
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2021 BQ Journal Vol 42 - Cover4
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