Coronavirus Vocabulary: Vaccine

Coronavirus Vocabulary: Vaccine


  • Published on Dec 02, 2020

Video Transcript




[MUSIC PLAYING]


SPEAKER: Coronavirus has been


teaching us a lot


about infectious disease


and public health, but it’s also


teaching us a lot of new words.


I’m going to help you talk


coronavirus.


It really is learning


a new language.




What is a vaccine,


and how exactly does it work?


Vaccines are unique in medicine


that they’re designed to prevent


rather than cure an illness.


Typically, they contain


a tiny amount of a disease


that’s been either killed


or weakened to the point


that it can’t make you sick.


The idea is to stimulate


your immune system into action


so that it produces


protective antibodies


in the same way it would if you


actually got sick.




We already have vaccines that


protect us from more than 20


life-threatening diseases.


The World Health Organization


estimates they prevent up


to 3 million deaths per year


from diseases such as flu,


measles, and tetanus.


Most vaccines are delivered


by a shot or an injection,


but some are sprayed


in through the nose


or even swallowed.




And by the way, you might hear


the term “immunization.”


It means exactly the same thing


as vaccination.


Some of the candidates


for a COVID-19 vaccine


are using a new technology that


uses messenger RNA.


An mRNA vaccine contains


a synthetic version of the RNA


that viruses use to form


proteins.


The vaccine doesn’t contain


enough genetic information


to produce viral proteins,


just enough to trick


the immune system into thinking


a virus is present so that it


will spring into action to make


those antibodies.




[MUSIC PLAYING]





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