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Photo: Getty If someone has a headache or feels a bit under the weather after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, it has become common to hear them say something like “Oh, that just means my system immune works really hard. ” On the other hand, when people don’t notice any side effects, they sometimes fear that the vaccine will not do its job or that their immune system will not respond at all. what is happening at the cellular level inside your body? Robert Finberg is a physician specializing in infectious diseases and immunology at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. It explains why this perception does not match the reality of how vaccines work. What does your body do when you get a vaccine? Your immune system reacts to the foreign molecules that make up any vaccine through two different systems; the initial response is due. to what is called the innate immune response. This system is activated as soon as your cells notice that you have been exposed to a foreign body, from a shard to a virus. Its objective is to eliminate the invader. White blood cells called neutrophils and macrophages move towards the intruder and try to destroy it. This first line of defense is relatively short and lasts for hours or days. The second line of defense takes days to weeks to be operational. It is the long-lasting adaptive immune response. It relies on the T and B cells of your immune system to learn to recognize particular invaders, such as a protein in the coronavirus. If the invader is encountered again, months or even years in the future, it is these immune cells that will recognize the old enemy and begin to generate the antibodies that will kill it. about two weeks to develop the adaptive response that provides long-lasting protection against the virus Be very, very skeptical of these reports of “ bad news ” vaccines When you get vaccinated, what you notice in the first or both first few days is part of the innate immune response: your body’s inflammatory reaction, aimed at quickly eliminating foreign molecules that have violated the perimeter of your body.It varies from person to person, but the extent of the response initial is not necessarily related to long-term response. In the case of the two COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, well over 90 percent of those immune developed the protective adaptive immune response while less than 50 percent developed side effects, and most were mild. The result is that you cannot judge the effectiveness of the vaccine in your body based on what you can detect from the outside. Different people develop stronger or weaker immune responses to a vaccine, but post-injection side effects won’t tell you who you are. It is the second adaptive immune response that helps your body build immunity to the vaccine, not the inflammatory response that triggers these early pains. What are the side effects, anyway? Side effects are normal responses to injecting a foreign substance. They include fever, muscle aches and discomfort at the injection site, and are mediated by the innate immune response.Neutrophils or macrophages in your body notice the molecules in the vaccine and produce cytokines – molecular signals that cause fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain. Doctors expect this cytokine reaction to occur every time a foreign substance is injected into the body.In studies where neither the recipients nor the researchers knew which individuals were receiving the mRNA vaccine or a placebo, About half of people aged 16 to 55 who received SARS- CoV-2 vaccine developed a headache after the second dose. This reaction may be related to the vaccine, but a quarter of people who only received a placebo also developed a headache. So, with very common symptoms, it can be quite difficult to attribute them to the vaccine for sure. Researchers are anticipating some reports of side effects. Adverse events, on the other hand, are things doctors don’t expect to happen as a result of the vaccine. They would include organ failure or severe damage to any part of the body.The blood clots that prompted the United States to suspend the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are a very rare event, apparently at a frequency of ‘one in a million. Whether they are definitely caused by the vaccine is still being investigated, but if scientists conclude, blood clots are said to be an extremely rare side effect. Which component of the vaccine causes side effects? The only “active ingredient” in Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the mRNA instructions that tell the recipient’s cells to build a viral protein. But the injections have other components that help the mRNA travel through your body. In order to get the vaccine’s mRNA into the vaccinated person’s cells where it can do its job, it has to escape the enzymes of the vaccine. body that would destroy it naturally. The researchers protected the vaccine’s mRNA by wrapping it in a bubble of lipids that help prevent it from being destroyed. Other ingredients in injections, such as polyethylene glycol, which is part of this lipid shell, can cause allergic reactions.If I feel unwell after my injection, does this indicate strong immunity? Scientists have not identified any relationship between the initial inflammatory response and the long-term response that leads to protection. There is no scientific evidence that a person with more obvious side effects from the vaccine is then better protected against COVID-19. And there is no reason that having an exaggerated innate response improves your adaptive response. Both licensed mRNA vaccines provided protective immunity to over 90% of recipients, but less than 50% reported a reaction to the vaccine and many fewer had serious reactions. For more, visit The Daily Beast. Get our best stories delivered to your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves deeper into the stories that matter to you. Learn more.