BRONZE

A Valorous Vaccine

Explain how Covid-19 vaccine works, compare it to other vaccines, do a survey about how many people would be willing to take the vaccine and more.
Felicia Istratescu
Grade 6

Problem

How does the Covid-19 vaccine work and can it be used to fight outbreaks?

Method

I researched using YouTube videos to explain how the vaccine works and I read articles and websites for more information about the vaccine. For the survey, I completed the form and then I asked people in Calgary if they would be willing to take the vaccine. I kept the information confidential.

Research

I will watch YouTube videos and read articles on how the Covid-19 vaccine works and I will conduct a survey of how many people would be willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

Data

How does the Covid-19 Vaccine Work?

The Covid-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. An mRNA vaccine uses a copy of a natural chemical. Like other vaccines, this vaccine will be injected into the upper muscle of your arm. The mRNA (messenger RNA) being injected into you from the vaccine carries genetic instructions but in this case, it is only coding for one small part of the virus which is the spike protein, that by itself, is harmless. The spike protein is the red, triangle-like protein on the virus.The mRNA makes its way into the cytoplasm (gel part) of your cell where the ribosomes read the information and start to create the spike protein. Ribosomes are molecular machines made of RNA and proteins. Once the spike protein is made, it goes to the cell membrane and then your cell breaks down and destroys the injected mRNA instructions. That gives your immune system a preview of what the virus looks like without you getting coronavirus. Then your antibodies will notice it and will know that it does not belong in your body. Antibodies are Y shaped proteins used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects. Your antibodies will then trigger an immune response to recognize and prepare your body for the real, harmful virus without having to actually come in contact with the virus itself. Your body will know how to neutralize the virus when and if it comes into your body.

Covid-19 Vs. Other Vaccines

The only difference between the Covid-19 vaccine and other vaccines is that the Covid-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. mRNA stands for Messenger RNA and RNA stands for Registered Nurse Anesthetist. RNA is a natural chemical that is similar in structure to DNA but is different in subtle ways. An mRNA vaccine uses a copy of a natural chemical (mRNA) to produce an immune response. Most vaccines are controlled or weakened viruses (still as a whole) but the Covid-19 vaccine, uses a harmless part of the virus.

mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way because they never enter the nucleus of our cells which is where our DNA is kept.

Will the Vaccine End the Pandemic?

I did a survey to find out if the vaccine will end the pandemic.  62.5% of people said they would be willing to take the vaccine. 37.5% of people said they would not. Still, most people said they would be willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine so it will probably end the pandemic. This data only applies to Calgary, as all of the people who participated in my survey, live in Calgary.

More Facts about the Covid-19 Vaccine

- The Covid-19 vaccine has to be kept at low temperatures because the mRNA could still fall apart and if it does, the chemical reactions will be slower.

- Some side effects may include pain, redness or swelling where the shot was given, fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, chills, or joint pain.

- Covid-19 reinfection is possible so it is still recommended that people who have taken the Covid-19 vaccine take some precautions like avoiding close contact, wearing cloth face coverings in public places, practicing good hygiene and staying home if you are sick.

Why is this Data Important?

This data can be used to help you decide if you want to take the Covid-19 vaccine or not and you will know the side effects and how it works.

This topic is also relevant as we are in the middle of a pandemic and vaccines are being distributed.

It also can help you predict whether the vaccines will end the pandemic in Calgary or not by the percentage of people willing to take the vaccine.

Glossary

Antibodies: Y shaped proteins used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects

Cell membrane: biological membrane that separates the interior of all cells from the outside environment

Cytoplasm: thick solution (made of mostly water, salts and proteins) that fills each cell and is enclosed by the cell membrane

Immune response: a reaction occurring within an organism for the purpose of defending against a foreign object

mRNA: a natural chemical compound similar to DNA that serves to transmit a message

Ribosomes: molecular machines that are 60% RNA and 40% protein

 

 

 

Conclusion

The Covid-19 Vaccine has mRNA in it and will make its way into the cytoplasm of your cell where ribosomes will read the information and create the spike protein of the virus. Then, it will go to the cell membrane and then your cell will break down and destroy the injected mRNA instructions. That gives your immune system a preview of what the virus looks like without harm. Then your antibodies will notice it and trigger an immune response to recognize and prepare your body for the real, harmful virus.

According to my survey results, the vaccine will probably end the pandemic in Calgary.

Citations

Brant Community. (2021, January 5). First doses of COVID-19 vaccine coming to Brantford-Brant next week. Brant Community Healthcare System. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.bchsys.org/en/news/first-doses-of-covid-19-vaccine-coming-to-brantford-brant-next-week.aspx 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, January 29). What Would Happen if We Stopped Vaccinations? CDC. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm 

Health Team. (2020, December 16). What You Need to Know About the Covid-19 Vaccine. First Nations Health Authority. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-covid-19-vaccine

News Staff. (2021, January 16). Ontario to delay second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by up to 42 days. CityNews. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://ottawa.citynews.ca/local-news/ontario-to-delay-second-dose-of-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-by-up-to-42-days-3267443 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2019, December 12). Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). FDA. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=the81FQoAUI&t=168s 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp2sAXG_SxQ

Duffin, S. S. (2020, November 17). Why Does Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Need To Be Kept Colder Than Antarctica? NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/17/935563377/why-does-pfizers-covid-19-vaccine-need-to-be-kept-colder-than-antarctica

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=qqn4hSnOH4A

Mayo. (2020, December 19). Covid-19 Vaccines: Get the Facts. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-vaccine/art-20484859 

Science Buddies. (2020, 10 22). How Can Vaccines Be Used to Fight Outbreaks? Human Biology and Health Pandemics, (Covid-19). https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/HumBio_p049/human-biology-health/vaccines-fight-outbreaks-simpandemic

 

Acknowledgement

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