If you’re still hesitant about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, you’re not alone. With so much varying discourse surrounding the shot, it can be hard to make a decision that you feel absolutely certain about. Overall, it’s true that the Covid vaccine is effective at what it was designed to do: prepare your body to combat the COVID-19 virus should you catch it, preventing severe symptoms that require hospitalization or that can cause death.
Although each vaccine is unique, all of them offer protection against severe disease. Here’s a more in-depth look at the effectiveness of Covid vaccines.
How Does the Vaccine Work?
Despite what you may have heard, the vaccine does not infect you with the COVID-19 virus. Unlike many other vaccines that work by injecting the live virus into the patient, the COVID-19 vaccines are not made up of the live virus, so you cannot get infected with the virus through the vaccine itself.
Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are being administered in the U.S. right now, and others are on track to do the same. All three vaccines work in similar ways to help your body fight against the virus.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine work by delivering a tiny piece of genetic code from the SARS CoV-2 virus to host cells in the body, essentially giving those cells instructions, for making copies of spike proteins (the spikes you see sticking out of the coronavirus in pictures online and on TV). The spikes do the work of penetrating and infecting host cells.