Batracho t1_j3p3vco wrote


Batracho t1_j0t09wc wrote

All great questions. I’m a med student and a grad student in immunology, but I’ll try to answer as simply as I can. Your questions in order:

  • Different vaccines have different routes of administration (they are oral vaccines for example, or many studies on intranasal vaccines), but, in general, you want local inflammation at the injection site. This inflammation recruits immune cells that eventually will lead to antibody production.

-Somewhat answered before, but there are oral vaccines. Most of them, however, would not survive the harsh environment of gastrointestinal tract.

-I still remember how this blew my mind. The immune system doesn’t “update” your OS. Your OS comes with all of the antigens pre-installed, if you wish. What the vaccine does is tell the cells that just happened to have the correct receptor to expand. How we get to a point where we effectively have cells that are able to recognize pretty much any antigen out there (while also not recognizing self) is a complicated process and involves genetic rearrangements and extensive T and B cell education.

-every part of your body is perfused with blood vessels that get progressively smaller. So if you inject into muscle, it will get picked up by the blood, it won’t typically be as fast as putting it into the vein, but it is a similar process.

-soreness/pain: the pain is not exactly the same as when you stub a toe, for example. Pain from most vaccines is mostly caused by the local inflammation that is occurring at the injection site, and is typically very helpful for the development of a good vaccine response. A classic medical way of describing this pain is “Rubor, calor, dolor and tumor”, which translates to redness, warmth, pain and swelling and is typically for indicative of an inflammatory response.

You’ve asked a bunch of good and complicated questions, let me know if you want me to elaborate in any way, I love immunology :)