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What is an mRNA vaccine, and how does it work? – Quartz

Some of the new Covid-19 vaccine candidates use a new kind of platform—but they’ve been a long time coming.

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Of all the Covid-19 vaccine candidates making their way through the regulatory pipeline, the two from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are some of the most exciting. In addition to having reported efficacies of 90% of more, these vaccines are the first of their kind. Rather than using a killed or weakened viruses or snippets of viral proteins, these vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA for short.
Vaccines based on genetic material may give you pause. But mRNA vaccines, which have been in the works for…

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