The FDA recently approved the use of another COVID-19 vaccine by Novavax as a tool to build up immunity from the COVID-19 coronavirus. In some respects, the Novavax vaccine is like other vaccines in its class but different in terms of how it is put to use in the body. This version of the vaccine works by mounting a response in the body to the spike protein found in the COVID-19 virus. It is called the spike protein because the shape of it to some people resembles a spike. The spike protein is very important to the virus. It can latch onto certain areas known as receptors on a human cell and allow the viral contents to be injected into the cell. Once inside the cell, there is no defense, and the virus is able to create duplicates of itself using the cell’s mechanisms. So, if the spike protein can be damaged by the body’s immune system, then the ability for it to meld with a cell is defeated and the virus can't replicate or survive.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a messenger (mRNA) technique. They utilize the virus’s genetic code to make instructions for generating the spike protein. This is the message in the messenger RNA. The mRNA is injected into a person and that person’s cells absorb the mRNA. The mRNA signals other RNA molecules within the cell to make spike proteins and then it degrades. All of this is done without affecting the cell’s DNA. As the spike proteins are created, the body sees the spike protein as a problem and creates an immune response. When a person later becomes infected with the COVID-19 coronavirus, their immune system attacks the spike proteins on the virus and disables the virus.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine works differently as well. This vaccine develops an immune response by taking the genetic instructions or gene that makes the spike protein and fuses it into the genes of a harmless virus. The virus is injected into a person and before the virus dies, it creates a lot of spike protein. Once again, the person’s body sees the spike protein as an invader and mounts an immune response to it. Then when the person encounters the COVID-19 coronavirus, the person’s immune system is trained to attack the spike proteins on the virus.
The latest entry for vaccines is the Novavax covid vaccine known of Nuvaxovid or Covovax. Instead of adding something into the person that causes the creation of the spike protein, it combines the spike protein with a chemical that stabilizes it and another one that helps the body generate an immune response to the spike protein. As with the other vaccines, if the person encounters the COVID-19 coronavirus afterwards, the body mounts an attack on the spike protein of the virus to defeat it and stop or weaken the viral infection.
While all the vaccines are alike in mounting a spike protein response and they differ on how they get there.
EverHome Healthcare, your choice for at home care and home health care, recommends that every person over 60 years of age receive a COVID 19 vaccine.