Can an mRNA vaccine alter someone's DNA?

Question: 

Can an mRNA vaccine alter someone's DNA?

Answer: 

No. Dr. Paul Offit at the Vaccine Education Center explains how mRNA vaccines are not able to alter a person’s DNA for 3 reasons:

Location – mRNA is active in the cytoplasm of a cell, whereas DNA is protected in the cell’s nucleus. The mRNA can NOT enter the nucleus, so the two nucleic acids are never in the same place in the cell.
Process – mRNA is not DNA. So, if a person’s DNA was going to be altered, the RNA would have to be made into DNA. This would require a special enzyme that only exists in some viruses. Coronaviruses are not one of them as they have only single-stranded RNA which means that when they enter into a cell’s cytoplasm they don’t need to be translated. Proteins (like the spike protein) can be made directly from the RNA.
Stability – mRNA is not very stable and can only stay alive in human cells for hours.

 

 


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Date last reviewed: 
Tuesday, Jun 15, 2021