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How mRNA vaccines work, and how they might protect us from the flu and other diseases

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First it was Pfizer, then Moderna: two drug company press releases, dropped days apart, announcing their COVID-19 vaccines that were more than 90 per cent effective against the disease.

Even though there’s plenty we don’t yet know about the vaccines, such as long-term effects, experts are generally optimistic by these interim results.

Aside from being potentially excellent news in the fight against COVID-19, these vaccines are based on relatively newish mRNA technology that’s not approved in any vaccines — yet.

And the fact that it seems to work so well, and — so far — without safety issues, means it could have benefits that reach much further than helping end the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do mRNA vaccines work?

Vaccines train our immune…



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