Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Vaccines assist the immune system fight off pathogens the body is unable to fight on its own. They do so by familiarizing one’s immune system with the pathogen, which allows the body to be able to fight the pathogen off for when infection occurs. Different vaccines provide the same familiarization support to the immune system. So, all vaccines only give the body the assistance it needs to fight off diseases it cannot on its own; they do not alter the body’s DNA in any way, solely assisting the immune system.
Vaccines assist the immune system fight off diseases by familiarizing the system with the pathogens. This can be achieved with a variety of different vaccine types. For instance, the vaccine can have a weakened form of a pathogen, an inactivated form of a pathogen, only a certain part of the pathogen, or a weakened toxin made by the pathogen. Any one of these components may be included in a vaccine to familiarize the body with the pathogen before it needs to fight off the real pathogen on its own. Hence, vaccines train the immune system to fight off a disease like COVID with a weak form of it before one is truly affected by the disease. Any reactions to vaccines, such as fevers, are usually mild and are signs that the immune system is noticing and reacting to the vaccine.
The way a vaccine works is by delivering instructions to the cells to start building protection against the virus. The COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA vaccines meaning they use mRNA to deliver instructions against the virus, unlike the other vaccines that use a weakened pathogen. In the COVID vaccine, the mRNA comes from COVID’s outer membrane. After the mRNA is introduced to the cell, they break down the mRNA to produce the viral protein. The immune system will then recognize the viral protein as a foreign entity and will produce antibodies. The production of these antibodies will lead to them staying in the body for a long time, ensuring the immune system will fight quickly against COVID if it enters the body. However, it is important to note that the vaccine never reaches the nucleus of a cell where DNA is housed. Because the vaccine never reaches the nucleus, the DNA is never altered.
However, it is important to note that vaccines cannot prevent one from becoming infected from a disease. Rather, the vaccines aim to help the body recover quickly from diseases and also ensure the body can recover itself. This is important because one can become infected with a disease and never know. Not knowing one had become infected has to do with the fact the vaccine has helped one recover very quickly. In the case of the COVID vaccine, the vaccine attempts to prevent serious harm from contracting COVID. That being said, the COVID vaccine cannot prevent one from contracting COVID.
In conclusion, vaccines are a way of preparing the body to fight off disease by releasing antibodies before infection. Different vaccines may introduce the weak pathogen to induce the production of antibodies differently, but they all aim to assist the immune system by training it to fight off the pathogen. Their role in the body mainly serves as training for the immune system before the real pathogen enters the body. This training is vital for the prevention of serious consequences from the infection of the real pathogen.
CDC. 2021 Jul 13 .Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines.
Cleveland Clinic. 2021 March 4. Vaccine FAQs: How are vaccines developed, and how do they work?
U.S. National Library of Medicine. What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work?