2022 AMI Online Salon

How COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Work

Project Detail

  • Entrant Name:  Katherine Knack
  • Client: Vaccine Maker Project and the Vaccine Education Center at CHOP
  • Copyright: Medical History Pictures, Inc., 2021
  • Medium/software used: Autodesk Softimage and Maya, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Adobe After Effects and Premiere
  • Final presentation format: Websites and social media
  • Primary Audience: General public

Project Description

The Vaccine Makers project, a program of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, commissioned an animation describing how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work. The challenge was to create an accurate and accessible video to teach the general public about the science in only two minutes. Our goal was to transparently present the complex detail of the molecular and cellular interactions, while distilling the steps into an easier to understand process. During production, knowledge and structural data was evolving, which we strived to accurately visualize. At the time vaccine development was just underway, and we anticipated the hesitancy for people to get the vaccine. We chose to show the immune response in a dynamic, yet calm way to emphasize the non-threatening nature of the vaccine. We saw this as an opportunity to illuminate the science to better inform the public and encourage them to receive the vaccine. The resulting animation was shared widely on Twitter to advance that effort.