Vaccines help fight viruses and bacteria that enter our bodies. Historically, vaccines contained inactivated or weakened viruses. However, Moderna and Pfizer created a new type of vaccine using a genetic molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA). It does not contain a live virus, nor does it cause the disease. Once injected into the body, mRNA instructs the cells to produce a protein found on the Covid-19 virus’s surface. One of the most important functions of protein production is to protect the cell from harmful bacteria and viruses. The body recognizes this protein as an invader and causes the body to produce antibodies. Antibodies, called killer cells, attack the foreign protein and kill it. This creates an immune response. When the Covid-19 virus invades the body, these killer cells will remember them from the mRNA vaccine injection and destroy the COVID-19 virus.
We now have three vaccines, including the J&J, that will prevent the severe complications of the disease that caused an influx of hospitalization and death. They will also help perpetuate an end to the pandemic and save millions of lives. As of May 16, 2021, Stastista, an online portal for data, reported a startling number of positive COVID cases in the US at 32,752,426. Some agencies and reporting platforms were not consistent in reporting the total numbers of deaths. The number of deaths ranged from 526,00 to 900,00. The latter seems believable.
With the new vaccines and herd immunity, there is hope to eradicate if not slow the spread of the COVID virus. It takes a community effort, please educate yourself about getting the vaccine. I am remaining optimistic in believing we will reach those numbers for herd immunity. Remember to continue to wear your masks, even after becoming vaccinated, and social distance until we see that ship of hope on the horizon. Be safe!
By DeLoise Gambrell
Metro DC Contributor