(NC) Some of the vaccines that protect against COVID-19 use a technology called an mRNA vaccine. This term may be new to you, but learning more about what this type of vaccine is and how it works can help you feel confident in its safety and effectiveness.
1. They don’t contain the COVID-19 virus.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines provide instructions to the body so that it can protect itself against the virus. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccines also cannot change a person’s DNA.
2. They can be developed faster than traditional vaccines.
mRNA vaccines can be developed faster than those created through traditional methods because they’re made in a lab using materials that are easily available. However, these advancements in technology don’t replace the large-scale clinical trials needed to show that the vaccine is safe and effective. All COVID-19 vaccines available have been rigorously tested during their development and then carefully reviewed by Health Canada and other scientific bodies around the world.
3. They’ve been studied by researchers before.
While the term “mRNA vaccine” may be new to most of us, researchers have been studying and working with these vaccines for quite some time. For example, they have been studied for flu, Zika and rabies. Researchers have also used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target certain cancer cells.
These facts offer a primer on mRNA vaccines. If you still have questions, you can find more information at canada.ca/covid-vaccine.
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