Covid 19 pandemic has great impact on day today’s human life. Its second wave in India is so severe with the mutated corona virus resulting in high death rates. The only way that is believed to get rid of this pandemic situation is to get vaccinated.
How do the vaccines work?
Vaccines work in the same way as how our body protect us during the invasion of germs in to our body and causing illness. Our immune system has red blood cells which carries oxygen to tissues or organs and white blood cells which are fighters of infection. There are types of white blood cells such as Macrophages, B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes.
Macrophages digest germs and dead or dying cells. The macrophages leave parts of the invading germs, called “antigens”. The body identifies antigens as infectious and stimulates antibodies to attack them.
B-lymphocytes are defensive which produce the antibodies.
T-lymphocytes are another type of defensive white blood cell. They attack cells in the body that have already been infected.
Once our body gets infected by virus the body takes help and use all the germ-fighting tools needed to get over the infection. After it gets cured from the infection the body keeps few
T-lymphocytes, which are called as memory cells. These memory cells remember how to fight against this particular virus if it invades the body again. When the familiar antigens are detected, B-lymphocytes produce antibodies to attack them.
Different types of vaccines work in different ways though the ultimate target is to create immunity or antibodies in our body to stop the invasion of virus from attacking our body. Vaccines that are given in India against corona virus are covishield(ChAdOx1) and covaxin(BBV152).
Covaxin is an inactivated SARS-COV-2 virus vaccine and Covishield(ChAdOx1) is a Chimpanzee adeno virus vaccine.
If a person is given a covaxin shot they are actually injected with the inactivated particles of SARS-COV-2. This will not cause any infection to the body. It is powerless, but it will help your body make SARS-COV-2 specific antibodies.
The T-cells and B-cells detect the inactivated virus particles. The T-cells which are responsible for producing memory cells that will remember the virus and B-cells are responsible for producing virus specific antibodies preventing the body from future infections. This is how covaxin work on corona virus.
covishield uses Chimpanzee adeno virus . They are not injected with the actual SARS-COV-2 virus but instead are injected with an adeno virus. The adeno virus which is used in Covishield vaccine is a specific strain of virus that causes cold in Chimpanzees.
Adeno virus is modified to carry a Coronavirus gene in a Covishield vaccine. When covishield is injected to a person the adeno virus enters the living cell and the modified gene instructs the cell to produce SARS-COV-2 spike proteins and display it on the surface of the cell. These spike proteins are then detected by the T-cells and B-cells and the body starts building immunity.
Though the working mechanism of both the vaccines are completely different they serve the purpose protecting our body against the infection caused by corona virus.
Both of the vaccines need two shots. Only after the two shots of vaccine and after a couple of weeks only our body gets immunity to cover itself from the virus. After vaccination to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes body takes time. Therefore, a person who injected vaccination could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and then get sick because the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection.
Symptoms, such as fever or tiredness after vaccination is very normal as it’s a sign of building immunity.
The only option left to get out of this pandemic situation is to vaccinate yourself. Government is taking steps to make people vaccinated. So get vaccinated and win the virus and this pandemic situation.