The word vaccine just recently disappeared from the top of the news headlines (and we can’t complain) but a few know that vaccine research has been around for a couple of centuries. Each and every vaccine completely transformed healthcare and they save the world from devastating losses each day. The heroes of modern medicine are mRNA vaccines and other mRNA therapies. You've heard those words for sure, but we want to break it down for you why they are true life savers.
Companies like Pfizer and Moderna utilised the latest mRNA technology to develop a solution for the COVID-19 pandemic and as time revealed, mRNA vaccines turned out to be both remarkably safe and very effective. Most vaccines, which you probably had as a kid introduce weakened or inactivated germs into our bodies to elicit an immune response.
But did you know that after mRNA vaccination, it’s not the vaccine that protects your body from the virus? It’s actually your own body.
Our body has unique abilities to cure and prevent diseases by making its own medicines. The mRNA vaccine provided a tiny hint to our body on which exact medicines to make in order to protect itself from covid virus.
Messenger RNA–or mRNA exists in your body's cells. It is an essential component of all living organisms and has been in cells for billions of years. In simple terms, mRNA is a tiny courier, which delivers an important message to each cell - instructions to make a specific protein. Proteins are the workhorses of your cells and your body makes >100,000 different kinds of proteins. For example, insulin is a protein that helps control sugar levels in the blood and mediate other hormones, so low levels of insulin or no insulin at all can lead to serious metabolic conditions, such as diabetes type I.
The best part of this story is that vaccines are only the beginning of the new era of modern medicines. By providing valuable instructions to the cells, mRNA-based therapies will allow patients who are lacking important proteins not just to manage their symptoms but to treat the disease. If we give a few copies of the required mRNA to patients with cancer or genetic disease, the body can read the message and start producing the missing protein on its own. Moreover, mRNA therapies can possess all features of perfect medicine: effective for a certain period of time, depending on a dose and can be safely given over and over again.
In such a way, the success of the mRNA vaccines during the pandemic provided a huge boost to this incredible, edge-cutting field in biomedical research, which we hope will bring some world-changing fruits. And speaking of the booster, don’t forget that you need one too, to make sure you maintain protecting yourself and your loved ones against covid.
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