How Do Vaccines Work?
Simply put, a vaccine trains the immune system to recognize viruses, bacteria, and other germs, or pathogens, so the body can react. The human body produces special proteins called antibodies to fight germs like the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines introduce weakened or killed parts of pathogens, or elements that mimic their structure, into the body.
COVID-19 vaccines cause your body to safely develop antibodies that recognize and fight the coronavirus that causes the disease, greatly reducing the risk for full-scale infection.
What About Vaccination Symptoms?
You may have heard some stories on the news or from friends about people who have shown symptoms after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Now, no one wants to feel sick, but it turns out experiencing vaccination symptoms is actually a good sign.
This video from Vox explains why vaccine symptoms are nothing to fear and are actually a good thing. In the video, Dr. Kristen Lyke says this of vaccine symptoms, "in general it’s nothing to fear, it’s our own immune systems kicking in and doing what it’s supposed to do."
Your immune system is what causes the fever, runny nose, or body aches you may experience. Vaccines trigger your immune systems without actually making you sick, so your immune system may react in the form of pain at the injection site, fever, fatigue, etc.
But these symptoms will not persist in the way they would if you were to actually get sick with COVID-19. Most symptoms after a COVID-19 vaccination are actually seen as a good thing amongst experts because they are a sign that the vaccine is working.