Moderna and Pfizer recently announced they are close to finalizing vaccines that can help fight COVID-19. Currently, Moderna’s vaccine could be available as early as the second half of December, beginning with high-risk groups, and may be available to the general population by the spring. This is an important step toward ending the pandemic.

How does the vaccine work?

According to the CDC, the vaccine delivers messenger RNA, or mRNA, which contain material from the virus that causes COVID-19. It gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After our cells make copies of the protein, they destroy the genetic material from the vaccine. Our bodies recognize that the protein should not be there and build T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that will remember how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 if we are infected in the future.

Learn more about anticipated COVID vaccines on the CDC website.