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Here's a look at how the different coronavirus vaccines work

November 24, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Some of the experimental coronavirus vaccines use some very new technology, including software that reprograms cells.

Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines use very similar technology, while AstraZeneca uses a different approach.

Pfizer and its German-based partner BioNTech use a new approach to making vaccines that uses messenger RNA or mRNA.

In the case of this vaccine, the mRNA instructs cells in the body to make the particular piece of the virus's spike protein.

And like the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, it codes for cells to make a piece of the spike protein.

It uses a common cold virus called an adenovirus to carry the spike protein from the coronavirus into cells.

It also aims to make people's bodies in essence produce their own vaccines by churning out little copies of spike protein, but the delivery method is different.

Maryland-based biotechnology company Novavax specializes in "protein subunit" vaccines.

They use virus-like nanoparticles as a base and cover them with genetically engineered pieces of the coronavirus spike protein.

This is also a protein subunit vaccine, using Sanofi's FluBlok technology with a GlaxoSmithKline adjuvant.

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