University of Queensland researchers are refuting widespread claims that Covid and its vaccines can enter a person’s DNA.
The scientists from the university’s Queensland Brain Institute say the claims have led to scaremongering and people should not hesitate to be vaccinated.
Professor Geoff Faulkner said his team’s research, published in Cell Reports, showed there was no evidence of Covid-19 – or the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines – entering DNA. “The evidence refutes this concept being used to fuel vaccine hesitancy,” he stated.
The team conducted the research to assess findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggesting positive Covid-19 tests long after recovery are due to the virus being incorporated into a person’s DNA.
Researchers found no evidence of Covid in DNA
“We looked into their claims that the human cells and machinery turned Covid-19 RNA into DNA, causing permanent mutations,” Professor Faulkner said.
“We assessed the claims in cells grown in the laboratory, conducted DNA sequencing and found no evidence of Covid-19 in DNA.
“From a public health point of view, we would say that there are no concerns that the virus or vaccines can be incorporated into human DNA.”
Professor Faulkner is a computational and molecular biologist with expertise in genomics and transposable elements – meaning his team studies DNA changes to determine how they impact human biology.
For the Cell Reports publication, he worked with virologists, including Associate Professor Daniel Watterson from the University of Queensland’s ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.
WHO and Oxford University concur with findings
Associate Professor Watterson said the research confirmed there was no unusual viral activity and the Covid-19 behaviour was in line with what was expected from a coronavirus.
According to information released by the World Health Organisation, Covid mRNA vaccine technology has been rigorously tested for safety, and clinical trials have shown that mRNA vaccines provide a long-lasting immune response.
“The mRNA vaccine technology has been studied for decades, including in the context of vaccines against the Zika virus, rabies and influenza. mRNA vaccines are not live viral vaccines and do not interfere with human DNA,” the WHO stated.
In an interview carried by the BBC, Professor Jeffrey Almond of Oxford University said injecting RNA vaccine into someone did nothing to human cell DNA.
“It works by instructing the body to produce a protein found on the surface of the corona virus. The immune system then learns how to recognise and produce antibodies against that protein,” he said.