How COVID-19 vaccines work

A visual explainer on how vaccines work, including how they work with the body’s immune system and their use in preventing coronavirus.
4:01 | 12/10/20

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Transcript for How COVID-19 vaccines work
The world is waiting for a game changing vaccine one that's effective and just as importantly safe vaccine makers are working to create a shop that offers protection against cove in nineteen. Without making the person getting the vaccine sick. So how does a vaccine work. Hundreds of years of experience Telus vaccines can Wear. Today vaccines are powerful tool to prevent people from getting many infectious diseases like tetanus measles and the seasonal flu. For many a natural covad infection beats a mild illness and a quick recovery. But unfortunately for some the virus moves too fast and it's too strong for our immune system to handle gracefully and maybe I didn't death. Sadly hundreds of thousands of Americans have died as a result of coping nineteenth. Solar vaccine is a way to prevent people from getting sick and does so by giving our immune system a competitive edge tickets are we need. When your body is infected with a virus it's a kind of wore a back and forth battle between the virus and or immune system you musicianship but different combat battalions there working together to kill the virus before the virus schemes too much territory as our body. He the first immune system it's kind. She's troops act fast before knowing what the enemy even looks like. Doing things like counting the fever to make that infectious invaders comfortably on inside your body. But what if the virus reaches that first line of the defendants. Luckily the Indian army came quickly deploy a second battalion called the adaptive immune system soldiers they can adapt and learn what the virus looks like to begin a more strategic operation against the virus. This Italian the soldiers are called B cells and T cells they announced a custom made fight against the specific invader. Case cope in nineteen. This playbook he sells get worse stuff that has invaded the body and head out on the mission. You virus they don't recognize they need to quickly figure out how to make the right weapon to defeat the record. Golden antibodies would keep hearings. Antibodies that Blackstone and neutralize the virus. Another soldier in that second battalion is that he sells one type of T cell reinforces. Helping those he says sneaky antibodies. Look here there's this special group of T cells called killer T cells. They could these like highly trained Navy SEALs go in for direct kill themselves and the virus. An amazing coordination these sales and he sales work together to Cuban leaders at the same time and after successfully destroying the virus immune system has one last special trick up its sleeve. Keeping a kind of photographic memory and everything it sees stored in a time capsule of them are. Called memory cells and that's salute strategy usually means once our immune system meets something it doesn't like it often doesn't forget at least in the short term. And that's no vaccine makes its way into the if you army playbook the strategy is that when you get a vaccine it triggers all the troops into action but without making you sick and this last. Time capsule that means a vaccine you get. Future but remember vaccines don't actually keep you the virus and of the vaccines being studied for Covert US have virus that's alive. Vaccine is teaching your immune system fight the virus that we can't get Kobe from getting a vaccine. There are hundreds of vaccines in different phases of development and we're waiting for the winning candidates to prove to work can be safe. And given the green light for distribution by regulators. News is keeping track of the vaccine race you can stay updated on Covert vaccine developments online at abcnews.com. Until there are enough vaccines available for us all we can all do our part by wearing masks. Staying home when sick and practicing physical distances.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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