EnMed Update: COVID-19 Vaccines are near!
The pending approval and distribution of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID19 vaccines has major implications for the proper use and interpretation of COVID19 antibody testing. Here are some FAQ’s that should help explain what you need to know.
These two vaccines contain no virus parts at all – making them the first of their kind for mass distribution.In the past all vaccines worked by giving you parts of a virus that hopefully wouldn’t reproduce inside you or make you sick – but would trigger an antibody response that protected you from the “real thing.” These mRNA vaccines trick your own body into making a part of the virus – and then you make an antibody response to that particular part – the so-called “spike protein” -that also keeps the “real thing” from infecting you.
This mRNA technique has plusses and minuses.On the plus side large quantities of mRNA are relatively easy to make quickly.Quickly is good.People are dying.And there is no worry of mRNA infecting you.
On the minus side mRNA `melts’ – becomes inactive -unless kept at very low temperatures.So work is still continuing on vaccines that work the `old-fashioned way’ – with bits of the virus.These kind of vaccines- like the COVID19 virus itself, unfortunately – tend to be stable near room temperature. They will be very suitable for use in areas where high-tech refrigeration is not easy to come by.