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Mayo Clinic podcast: How messenger RNA vaccines work

Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, explains how mRNA vaccines work, gives a status update on the pandemic and answers listener questions

FSA coronavirus microscope2
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. NIAID / Tribune News Service
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The first COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market are likely to be messenger RNA vaccines, or mRNA. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , mRNA vaccines work by teaching cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. Unlike many vaccines that use a weakened or inactivated form of a virus, mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.

On the Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast, Dr. Gregory Poland , an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, explains how mRNA vaccines work, gives a status update on the pandemic and answers listener questions.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.

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