No. The COVID-19 vaccine does not contain live viruses that can cause people to be infected by the virus or cause COVID-19. For your information, the vaccine is completely safe. There are a few types of COVID-19 vaccine that use mRNA or viral vectors as the component of the vaccine. Understanding how each COVID-19 vaccine is developed from these components will help you get a better understanding of how the COVID-19 virus is totally safe.
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccine
The mRNA vaccine or messenger RNA vaccine allows the body to create a specific protein that is similar to the proteins of the COVID-19 and allows the immune system to create antibodies against this protein. So if a person is infected in the future, our antibodies will be ready and will be able to identify the protein or antigen and protect us against the COVID-19. After the protein is created for the stimulation of immune response, the cell enzyme will destroy the mRNA and dispose of it from the body. You should know that mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell or interact with human DNA. The antibodies formed are specific to protect against COVID-19.
The purpose of the mRNA vaccine is to build an immune response against COVID-19 and it does not have the risk of causing the disease to vaccinated people. The mRNA vaccine is also not a live vaccine and it does not contain any infectious component or element.
Although the mRNA vaccine is new, it is not completely unknown. Scientists have been researching the possibility of using mRNA for vaccines for decades. The occurrence of COVID-19 and increasing fundings allows the rapid development of the COVID-19. Despite the fact that the vaccine is rapidly developed it still undergoes rigorous safety assessment by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) so that it is safe to be used worldwide.
The viral vector COVID-19 vaccine
Viral vector vaccine in general uses a modified version of a different virus which is the vector to stimulate the immune system to create antibodies. The viral vector COVID-19 vaccine does not use the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection but uses a different and harmless type of virus as the vector to stimulate the immune system.
The mechanism of action of this vaccine is to allow the cell in our body to create a harmless piece of virus from the vector. This harmless piece of the virus is called the spike protein that is found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. This different type of virus or vector such as the adenovirus is genetically engineered so that it creates the spike protein of the coronavirus.
The immune system will identify the spike protein as an antigen as it does not belong to the human body and develops antibodies against it. Once the immune system recognizes this antigen, our immune system will be able to protect against future infection. Just like the mRNA vaccine, the viral vector vaccine does cause infection to the vaccinated person and it does not integrate into the human DNA.
Just like any other vaccine, the viral vector COVID-19 vaccine has undergone a safety assessment and meets the safety standards set by the FDA. For your information, the viral vector vaccine has been used in many medical treatments such as gene therapy, treatment for cancer, and for molecular biology research. The viral vector vaccine has been used for decades and has been discovered since the 1970s.
But the downfall of the viral vector vaccine is that, as it uses vector virus, the body might have a pre-existing immune response against the vector virus. As some of us might have been exposed to vector virus such as the adenovirus before, the viral vector vaccine might not work. For your information, the adenovirus infection can cause a range of illness such as cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, pneumonia, diarrhoea and even conjunctivitis (pink eye). So it is likely that you might have a pre-existing immune response against adenovirus.