SARS-CoV-2 and the mRNA vaccine

For this project, developed in the “Ilustra Microscopia” course at the Illustraciencia Academy, taught by the illustrator Maria Lamprecht, it was necessary to create a magazine cover that, in a conceptual and direct way, would discuss the main characteristics of mRNA vaccines that are being developed to combat Covid19.

Unlike many conventional vaccines that are based on the entire inactivated virus, mRNA vaccines introduce only the genetic information of the virus’s protein S (Spike) into our cells, which are the spikes that characterize it so much. Then, with the information from this RNA (ribonucleic acid), our cells start to reproduce copies of protein S, which do not affect our health, but are used by our antibodies to identify and recognize them later, creating immunity, in the case that the real virus enters our body.

For the cover illustration of this magazine, I looked for a composition and color palette that were striking and attractive, that inspired readers to buy and read.

I did an extensive research on the shape and structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid’s disease19, analyzing the shape of all its proteins. I represented a single virus, in large size and centered on the cover, with a palette of warm colors and contrasted with the background.

To give a positive and hopeful message to this cover, the virus is being attacked by immunoglobulin, our antibodies, as a result of the vaccine’s effectiveness. In the foreground I represent the vaccine with indication to one of the spikes of the virus, which implies that its genetic information is the main component of the mRNA vaccines.




Isa Loureiro 2021