mRNA vaccines have been developed using technology that has been around for almost 20 years.
Scientists have tried to use the technology to make vaccines against a number of infectious diseases.
To trigger an immune response, many vaccines mimic an infection in our bodies that makes them make an immune response—not mRNA vaccines.
Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.
That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if we are exposed to the real or “wild-type” virus.
mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with our own DNA.
The message from mRNA vaccines is short-lived and disappears after our immune system responds. Read more on the CDC website.