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The Explainer: Virologist Dr Cillian de Gascun on how the Covid-19 vaccines work

Virologist Dr Cillian de Gascun breaks the whole thing down for us on this week’s podcast.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Dec 2020

THE COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer/BioNTech has started being administered to people in Britain and Northern Ireland – starting with a 90-year-old Fermanagh woman living in Coventry.

It’s a pivotal moment in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, and, with more vaccines also in development, brings with it a sense that perhaps things will be changing in the near future.

But you may still have questions about the vaccine. For starters, how does it work? What is the ‘mRNA’ people keep mentioning? And what about pregnant women, can they take it? Have any side effects been found? 

To help answer these questions – and more – we speak to Dr Cillian de Gascun on this week’s episode of The Explainer. As well as being the director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, he is a member of NPHET.

He’s also the only virologist in the country – virologists are medical doctors, but they’re scientists and virus experts too. So he’s perfectly placed to help break it all down for us, and he does, as you’ll hear, a great job of simplifying how vaccines work. Who knew it all started with a woman milking cows?

The Explainer / SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan. Guest was Cillian de Gascun. 

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