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Trust Index: COVID-19 vaccine does not alter DNA, medical experts say

No interaction between messenger RNA and a person’s DNA, San Antonio doctor tells KSAT

SAN ANTONIO – Like so many other internet claims on the COVID-19 vaccine, the claim that the injection will alter your DNA has been widely shared and discussed on social media.

Because the vaccines use a technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA, there’s confusion and misinformation about what the vaccine does after it’s injected into your arm.

Two medical experts, Dr. Bryan Alsip, chief medical officer at University Health System, and Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease specialist at UT Health San Antonio, have said this claim is NOT TRUE.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

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“The good news is there’s no interaction at all between the messenger RNA in the vaccines and an individual’s DNA,” said Alsip said.

“The mRNA does not enter the nucleus of our cells. It doesn’t integrate into our genetic blueprint, so it doesn’t become part of us,” Bowling said. “It doesn’t linger in our body. It’s not going to be passed on to your offspring. These are some of the questions that have been raised as far as concerns.”

Medical experts worldwide have touted mRNA technology as groundbreaking because it tricks the body into making a protein that copies the novel coronavirus’s surface receptor.

The mRNA breaks down and allows the immune system to recognize and attack the real virus if a person is exposed. The mRNA does not change a person’s DNA through this process.

Some San Antonio teachers, school employees to get COVID-19 vaccine this week through University Health


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