What is mRNA and How Does It Work?

mRNA is a messenger. It tells our cells what to do to build, maintain, or repair things in our bodies.

The two COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are both mRNA vaccines.  mRNA is a natural element in all of human life.

mrna, covid vaccines, covid education, safety


- It contains the biological instructions that make each species unique

- It guides the development, function, and reproduction of most organisms and many viruses

mrna, covid vaccines, covid education, safetymRNA IS LIKE A SOCIAL MEDIA MESSENGER

- It is responsible for helping cells build, maintain, and repair things in our bodies

- It delivers recipes and instructions to cells telling them what proteins to create

covid, questions, answers, vaccine, mrna

DNA runs everything in us - from how we heal to how we walk to the color of our hair.

It sends specific instructions to make sure our bodies are doing what they are supposed to do. 

The DNA will give these instructions to mRNA to deliver.

covid, questions, answers, vaccine, mrna

The mRNA takes the instructions directly to our cells.

Once the cells have read the instructions, the mRNA is used up and just disappears.

covid, questions, answers, vaccine, mrna

Cells are a lot like factories.

Once they have the instructions, they follow the instructions to make specific proteins. Proteins do a lot of work in our bodies.

covid, questions, answers, vaccine, mrnaAfter the cells make the proteins, the proteins go to work.

They build, repair, or maintain whatever they were designed to do.

For example, some proteins may be designed just to heal a wound or build a scar. Other proteins were designed to grow our hair or our fingernails.

Next... How Does an mRNA Vaccine Work?

Back...COVID-19 Vaccines Mainpage