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What Happens When You Get A COVID-19 Vaccine That Uses mRNA

On this week’s episode of PODCAST-19, we talk with Dr. Margaret Liu, one of the pioneers of gene-based vaccines, about vaccines that use mRNA to help us build immunity to COVID-19, including the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. How is this method different from vaccines in the past, and what does the mRNA do once it gets inside our bodies?

Don’t want to miss an episode of PODCAST-19, FiveThirtyEight’s weekly look at what we know — and what we know we don’t know — about COVID-19? Subscribe on your favorite podcasting app. For example, here’s where to do it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

[Related: Answers To All (Or At Least Some) Of Your COVID-19 Vaccine Questions]


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Anna Rothschild is FiveThirtyEight’s senior producer for video.

Sinduja Srinivasan is PODCAST-19’s producer.

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