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What happens after


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The Immune System - our body's defence against infection

How do our bodies fight infection?


When germs, like the virus that causes COVID-19  invade our bodies, they attack and multiply.  This infection is what causes illness.  Our immune system uses several germ-fighting tools to fight the infection, but it can take several days or weeks for our bodies to make these tools, which means we can get sick in the meantime. 


After an infection, our immune system remembers what it learned to protect the body against that same disease next time.  


The body keeps a few T-lymphocytes, called “memory cells”, that can quickly respond to clear the infection and limit the damage to our bodies if the body meets the same virus again.  


You might have heard people talk about these antibodies to describe whether a COVID-19 case was a ‘historical case’. 


How the COVID -19 Vaccines work?


COVID -19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity  (the bodies memory of the infection) to the virus that causes COVID -19 without us having to get the illness.  


It takes a few weeks for the body to develop immunity after the vaccination.  


Sometimes, after vaccination, the process of building immunity might cause symptoms such as pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, fever, and muscle aches.  


The different kinds of Vaccines that will be used in New Zealand  


One COVID -19 vaccine, an mRNA vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech  ComirnatyTM), is available in Aotearoa. 


Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available


Vaccines work with our immune system to help your body respond quickly and clear the virus if you are exposed.  


Other steps like physical distancing, washing your hands, cleaning surfaces and wearing masks on public transport and in situations where it is difficult to maintain physical distancing will help reduce your chance of catching this virus.


Together the COVID -19 vaccines and other public health measures will offer us the best protection against COVID -19.  

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