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How do the vaccines work?

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The ultimate purpose of all vaccines is to teach our immune system how to recognize a specific type of infection and fight it if we come into contact with it again. They all work by showing our immune system a part of the bacteria or virus that is unique to that organism. Usually the exposure is through an injection, like the flu shot. Once that unique part of the organism is in our body, our immune system recognizes it as a threat and makes antibodies and other defenses to protect us if we ever come into contact with it again. 

The vaccines against COVID-19 are no different. The first couple that became available are a bit special in that they provide their instructions for our own cells to make a unique protein that will get our immune response started. And the other vaccines coming down the line, they use the similar or same technologies as other vaccines that we’re already familiar with. 

The key for all of these vaccines is that they are teaching our immune systems how to protect us. 

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Watch the videos and read the FAQs below to get answers to your vaccine questions.