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Understanding Covid-19 Vaccinations: Glossary of Terms

This list, provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health, identifies and explains new and frequently used terms used by health officials and media regarding vaccines and how to protect yourself during the pandemic.

Isolation: 

When a person is infected with a contagious disease, they may be expected to avoid contact with anyone, including those who might live in the same space, until they are no longer a risk of transmitting contagions.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended anyone infected with COVID-19 isolate for five days followed by wearing a well-fitting mask for another five days.

mRNA Vaccine: 

“Messenger ribonucleic acid” vaccines are inoculations that use weakened or inactivated germs to teach our immune systems how to recognize invasive proteins and neutralize them.

Vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for immunity against COVID-19 are mRNA vaccines.

Primary Vaccine Series:

The first shot(s) a patient receives when they are seeking immunization from an illness. The shot(s) introduce traces of the contagion to the patient’s immune system so that it can prepare antigens that thwart a harmful infection.

Viral Vector Vaccine: 

This type of inoculation introduces modified cells to an immune system so that it can detect and neutralize germs with similar structures.

Vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) for immunity against COVID-19 are Viral Vector vaccines.

Quarantine: 

When a person is exposed to a contagious disease, they may be expected to stay-in-place for a period of time to prevent transmitting it to someone else.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended anyone exposed to COVID-19 quarantine for five days before testing for the virus. If the test result is “Positive,” that person should move into isolation.

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