` `

COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Alter Your DNA

Tracy Davenport Tracy Davenport
8th September 2020
COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Alter Your DNA
While the vaccine uses new technology, it will not alter your DNA.

The Claim

A new COVID-19 vaccine will alter your DNA.

Emerging story

A claim on social media that has been widely shared links a new COVID-19 vaccine to genetic modification. In summer 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, social media users shared the claim that the COVID-19 vaccine “will literally alter your DNA.”

Misbar’s Analysis

Frontrunner COVID-19 vaccines do use gene-based technology that, if approved, will be the first ever used on humans. The vaccines referred to are mRNA vaccines. The acronym mRNA stands for messenger ribonucleuc acid. These acids are found in our cells and help to carry the flow of information that is constantly occurring throughout our bodies. 

Antiviral vaccines are currently either protein-based or gene-based. Protein-based vaccines deliver the immune system a stimulating antigen to the body. These antigens help stimulate our immune system. Examples of these vaccines are flu shots and the hepatitis B vaccines. Gene-based vaccines carry the genetic instructions for the host’s cells to make the antigen that is similar to a natural infection. Describing gene-based vaccines, University of Pennsylvania vaccinology professor Paul Offit said in JAMA, “You’re not giving them the protein, you’re giving them the genetic material that then instructs them how to make that spike protein, to which they make an antibody response that hopefully is protective.”

According to Dr. Dan Culver of the Cleveland Clinic, it’s not possible for an mRNA vaccine to alter your DNA: “This cannot change your genetic makeup. The time that this RNA survives in the cells is relatively brief in the span of hours. What you are doing is sticking a recipe card into the cell making protein for a few hours.” 

Unfortunately, mRNA vaccines are clinically unproven. According to JAMA, no commercially available vaccines use this methodology and until now they have not been tested in large-scale human trials. The next step will be large scale testing to determine the safety and effectiveness. 

While a new vaccine for COVID-19 could be the first of its kind, it will not alter your DNA. 

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

Read More

Most Read