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Immune response after COVID-19 vaccination

The British Society for Immunology (BSI) has partnered once more with the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium to create an infographic that explains the immune response that follows COVID-19 vaccination. Scroll down this page to discover more, click the download link to print the graphic or share on social media tagging @britsocimm and @UKCICstudy to help strengthen public understanding.

UK-CIC researchers are studying the interaction between SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and the immune system. The best way of protecting yourself against COVID-19 is by having a COVID-19 vaccination as it trains your immune system to respond to the virus quickly and effectively, preventing you becoming unwell. The vaccine works with your immune system to build immune memory for the virus, meaning you are protected for a long time after receiving both doses of the vaccine.

Knowledge of COVID-19 and vaccine immunology will continue to evolve, and this infographic is accurate at the time of publishing in August 2021. The process illustrated below describes the mechanisms used by the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in the UK, including mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), and viral vector vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca).

An infographic describing how the COVID-19 vaccines train the T and B cells of our immune system to recognise SARS-CoV-2

Download this infographic (PDF for printing)

Download this infographic (PNG for use on social media)

If you are interested in translating these resources into another language, please email bsi@immunology.org. Please do not translate these resources without our permission.


Common questions about COVID-19 vaccines are answered in our free, easy-to-read guide.

A guide to vaccinations for COVID-19

Find out more about UK-CIC research, as well as how Patient and Public Involvement is central to the success of the project.

UK-CIC website for the public