1/ Are RNA vaccines safe? I have gotten this question a lot lately, and it is a good question.
2/ First: RNA is messages. At any moment a human cell has 5000+ different RNA messages, and they are all temporary messages, like post-it notes that get torn up by the cells within minutes or hours after being read.
3/ Or, actually, RNA is like snapchat messages that expire. RNA vaccines do NOT become a permanent part of your body. They are temporary messages instructing cells to make one viral protein temporarily.
4/ Second, in the case of RNA COVID-19 vaccines, the RNA message is for 1 single coronavirus protein. It takes 25 different coronavirus proteins to make a coronavirus, so there is no worry about the RNA making a virus.
5/ Third, over 70,000 doses of these COVID-19 RNA vaccines have been given to people now, and the independent safety boards (not controlled by the companies) have reported no serious concerns. That’s a lot of safety data!
6/ Now, it will certainly be good to see the full safety data when the clinical trial results become public, but it looks good.
7/ Lastly, regarding these vaccines and vaccines in general, “safe" does not mean the same thing as “did not hurt at all” or “no fever” for a little while. The immune system tends to only remember things that hurt somewhat. Not unlike going to the gym and getting exercise
8/ and really sore muscles; a bit of pain can be a positive sign that good things are happening. Sometimes you have to earn your immunity, just like you have to earn those biceps you wanted so bad. 😀
9/ An immunization is probably going to hurt some, and that’s generally a good sign. You are earning your immunity.

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More from @profshanecrotty

Mar 31
What parts of the immune system are protecting you against COVID? Immunology is complicated, so here's a graphic to try and explain it.
Layered defenses against SARS-CoV-2, or the “Swiss cheese” model of immunity. Image
Multiple types of adaptive immunity with diverse mechanisms likely provide layers of defense against COVID-19. Conceptually, these are like a “Swiss cheese model”: even though each layer is imperfect, together they keep the pathogen from breaching all layers of defense.
The graphic was inspired by the fantastic masking and public health layered defenses Swiss cheese model of @MackayIM.
Read 8 tweets
Mar 28
Crotty lab journal club by @P1RAD:
Here is an immunological reason to resist raw cookie dough: Salmonella infection can induce monocytes that disrupt pre-existing germinal center (GC) responses to a primary infection (or potentially vaccines) 🧵[1/5]
cell.com/immunity/fullt…
Work @ImmunityCP by @AdiBiram, @ZivShulman & colleagues show in a mouse model of Salmonella infection that infiltration of IFNɣ-induced monocytes (CCR2+ Sca1+ Ly6C-hi) from the bone marrow to peripheral lymphoid organs suppress GC B cells [2/5]
The suppression of GC B cells is mediated by TNF⍺ and comes along with disruptions in the metabolism of GC B cells [3/5]
Read 5 tweets
Mar 22
Our new pre-print posted. We compare immune memory to Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines head-to-head. T cells, B cells, and antibody. We think this is the most comprehensive immunological evaluation of these four different vaccines. 1/17
biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
These comparisons are of broader interest, because they compare human acute and memory immune responses longitudinally to three different vaccine platforms: mRNA, viral vector, and protein. 2/17
It has been 15 months of work by a lot of people. A massive team effort! Congrats to everyone involved for their hard work, long hours, and persistence getting this project complete. 🙏🏼 3/17
@SetteLab @Dani6020 @camilahcoelho @ljiresearch
Read 16 tweets
Jan 21
What comes after Omicron? A thorough article with thoughtful comments by @EJohnWherry @deeptabhattacha. I talk about immunity, misconceptions about disease severity, and virology. And my coffee mug analogy about how brilliant your immune system is! 🧵1/4

buzzfeednews.com/article/danver…
Your immune system has really been brilliant at recognizing COVID vaccines & evolving immune responses that not only recognize the Spike in the vaccine, but also made educated guesses about what variants may look like—even though your immune system didn’t get to see any variants!
““It’s like you showed the immune system one kind of coffee mug, a round thing with a handle, and from that it was able to recognize every kind of mug that you can imagine. It’s remarkable.”

With 2 doses of vaccine, your immune system could recognize a wide range of variants…
Read 4 tweets
Dec 27, 2021
1st thread on our long germinal center (GC) preprint was last week. I promised a 2nd to dive into more of the biology:
Do naive B cells sustain long GCs?
Do GC cells have clonal migration to other lymph nodes during an ongoing GC?
Do low affinity B cells compete in these GCs? 🧵
1/ Do naive B cells sustain the long GCs?
With the long GCs lasting over 6 months, are the same B cells active in GCs for that long? Or do they 'graduate' or expire after a shorter period and get replaced by entirely new clones?
Read 23 tweets
Dec 22, 2021
Our newest study reveals some surprising immunology, which is relevant for vaccines.
We immunized animals with a protein vax and waited to see how long germinal centers (GC) would last. Expectations were GCs would peak by 3 weeks & be gone by 6. How long did they actually last?🧵
A LOOOOONG time!

Vaccine-binding GC cells PEAKED 10 weeks after immunization.

So we waited....

biorxiv.org/content/10.110…
Still going at 13 weeks
Read 26 tweets

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