Note — Nov 22, 2020

With Vaccines, the End of the COVID-19 Pandemic Is in Sight

Seen in → No.151

Source → theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/vacc...

Have a read of this piece by Sarah Zhang for the hopeful announcements but also to better understand mRNA vaccines, and perhaps like me to learn that there are “[t]hree separate components of the immune system—antibodies, helper cells, and killer T cells,” all of which respond to the spike protein that both vaccines use, and “that COVID-19 patients whose immune systems can marshal all three responses tend to fare the best.”

The most tenuous moment is over: The scientific uncertainty at the heart of COVID-19 vaccines is resolved. […]

The mRNA vaccine makes this vulnerability [(viruses hijacking our cellular machinery to churn out infectious viruses)] into a strength. What if we can trick our own cells into making just one individually harmless, though very recognizable, viral protein? The coronavirus’s spike protein fits this description, and the instructions for making it can be encoded into genetic material called mRNA.