Glossary

A mixture of tiny suspended solid or liquid substances and gases. Aerosols can remain suspended in air for long periods and disperse throughout enclosed spaces. The main route of transmission for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is ingestion of virus-laden particles (larger droplets and aerosols) released through breathing, coughing, talking, singing and sneezing.

Antibodies are defensive substances that the body can produce by itself. They are produced by the immune system to specifically target the relevant pathogen during infection.

BioNTech/Pfizer has developed an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Its efficacy is around 95%. This means that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are around 95% less likely to get COVID-19 than those who are not vaccinated. The efficacy of mRNA vaccines in preventing severe COVID-19 disease (for example, hospitalisation) is 85%.

The term genome refers collectively to the carriers of genetic information within a cell. These include the chromosomes, DNA and RNA.

Vaccines usually contain attenuated (weakened) or inactivated (dead) pathogens. Once inside the body, they cannot cause an infection; however, the body reacts to their presence and produces antibodies and “memory cells”, which remain capable of recognising and fighting the pathogen even years later.

The chain of infection is the path of transmission of a pathogen from one person to another. This second person can, in turn, infect other people. Chains of infection ensure the rapid spread of the pathogen and should be broken as early as possible.

The pharmaceutical company Moderna has developed an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. Its efficacy is around 95%. This means that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are around 95% less likely to get COVID-19 than those who are not vaccinated. The efficacy of mRNA vaccines in preventing severe COVID-19 disease (for example, hospitalisation) is 85%.

The placenta grows in the mother’s body at the beginning of pregnancy and supplies the baby with important nutrients and oxygen until birth.

This protein is responsible for the formation of the placenta. There have been rumours that coronavirus vaccines can make women infertile due to similarities between the spike proteins on the coronavirus and the syncytin-1 protein.

 

However, the similarities between the two proteins are so minimal that a coronavirus vaccine cannot result in infertility. This has been proven by every study conducted in this area.

Three types of vaccine have been developed against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: vector-based vaccines (live vaccines containing vector viruses), inactive vaccines containing viral proteins, and mRNA vaccines.

 

Vector-based vaccines consist of so-called vector viruses. In each case, the vector virus is a well-studied virus that cannot replicate. The vector virus contains and transports the genetic information for a single protein of the coronavirus, the so-called spike protein.

 

The transported information is “read” after entering the cells (especially in muscle cells at the vaccination site and in certain immune cells), whereupon these cells then produce the spike protein themselves. The spike proteins thus formed by the vaccinated person’s body are recognised by the immune system as foreign proteins. Antibodies and defence cells are then produced to attack the spike protein of the virus, thus establishing a protective immune response. 

Antigens are a form of protein (e.g. the SARS-CoV-2 virus) which the immune system recognises as foreign and attacks by producing antibodies. The proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected via a rapid antigen test.

 

The coronavirus vaccines also contain antigens, which enable the immune system to produce suitable antibodies.

A high antibody level means the immune system has produced a large quantity of antibodies to fight the pathogen. The higher the antibody level, the better we are protected against viruses.

COVID-19 is the official name for the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 stands for “Coronavirus Disease 2019”.

If a certain number of people are immune to a pathogen, the pathogen cannot spread further. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity. People become immune to a pathogen if they have formed antibodies as a result of an illness or through vaccination.

Immediately after vaccination, the immune system begins to react because it recognises the substances in the vaccine as foreign. Vaccines thus stimulate the body’s immune response, for example by causing our bodies to produce antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

As with every vaccine, adverse reactions (redness, swelling around the injection site, slight fever) can also occur after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. For most people, these reactions will disappear after a day or two.

The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has developed a vector-based vaccine against COVID-19. Its efficacy is at least 80% against severe COVID-19 disease. Only one dose of the vaccine is required to achieve maximum protection.

This abbreviation stands for “messenger ribonucleic acid”. “Messenger” ribonucleic acid. The mRNA is found in every cell in the body and transfers the genetic information from the cell nucleus to the cell site where proteins or proteins are formed.

This is the official name for the novel coronavirus. SARS stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome”.

Three types of vaccine have been developed against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: vector-based vaccines (live vaccines containing vector viruses), inactive vaccines containing viral proteins, and mRNA vaccines.

 

In the case of inactivated vaccines, the antigen consists either of dead pathogens, their components or harmless substances derived from them. These biological materials are recognised by the body as foreign and stimulate the immune system into producing antibodies without the corresponding disease taking hold.

The cell nucleus contains a complete set of genetic information. The genome of a human being is located in the form of DNA inside the cell nucleus.

These tests can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body, e.g. by swabbing the nose or throat. Since the tests are easy to perform, you can even do them yourself at home.

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has developed a vector-based vaccine against COVID-19. It is up to 80% effective. It prevents COVID-19 disease in the majority of cases or alleviates symptoms in cases of illness. After being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, none of the twice-vaccinated participants in the clinical trials had to be hospitalised due to coronavirus infection.

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid or in German: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). It is a large molecule found in the nucleus of almost every cell in living beings. Information that determines the development and biological functions of every living organism is stored in this molecule – the so-called genetic blueprint.

People become immune to a pathogen if they have formed antibodies as a result of an illness or through vaccination.

 

However, a re-infection after overcoming the disease – or in rare cases after vaccination – cannot yet be completely ruled out. This is, however, very unlikely and, in the vast majority of cases, the second infection does not cause any problems.

Vaccination centres are being set up by the various federal states to enable more people to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in a shorter time. Appointments at the vaccination centres can be made by telephone or online.

Clinical trials are used to determine whether a drug or vaccine is effective and safe. In Germany, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) is responsible for managing clinical trials in the field of vaccines and medicinal products. It monitors the quality, efficacy and safety of licensed vaccines and thus ensures that every vaccine in use has been extensively tested.

Three types of vaccine have been developed against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: vector-based vaccines (live vaccines containing vector viruses), inactive vaccines containing viral proteins, and mRNA vaccines.

 

The mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 contain a “blueprint” for a single building block of the virus (the so-called spike protein). Based on this information, the body can produce the corresponding antigens.

 

After vaccination, the transported information is not incorporated into the human genome and is instead “read” after entering the cells (especially in muscle cells at the vaccination site and in certain immune cells), whereupon these cells then produce the spike protein themselves. The spike proteins thus formed by the vaccinated person’s body are recognised by the immune system as foreign proteins. Antibodies and defence cells are then produced to attack the spike protein of the virus, thus establishing a protective immune response. 

Auf Deutsch würden wir sagen: Stachel-Eiweiß. This is an important building block of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (the “spikes” on the spherical surface of the virus). They ensure that the virus can enter the body’s cells.

 

Antibodies can recognise the virus by the spike protein, bind to it and thus mark it as a target. This fact is used as a basis for the development of vaccines.

Vakzin ist der medizinische Fachbegriff für Impfstoff.