The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


22 Nov 2021

Setting it Straight: Viruses, Vaccines and COVID-19: arming up

Currently, the only COVID-19 vaccines available to anyone across the planet require one or two ‘jabs’ that are generally given into the upper arm. The high pressure exerted on the syringe plunger drives some of the inoculum into the deltoid muscle, while a lot discharges straight into the extracellular, or interstitial space. There, it may be taken up by specialised antigen presenting cells, the dendritic cells (DCs) which, along with any free vaccine material in the extracellular fluid, then travel via our other (than the blood) circulation system, the lymph (#9), to enter the regional axillary lymph nodes (ALNs) via the fine tubules of the afferent lymphatics. Many of us know the ALNs as the ‘glands’ in our armpits.