Updated: Jan 15
With the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines having received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, skepticism across the country has spread as a side effect of misinformation being produced to the public. While most Americans are now willing to take these vaccines when they become available to the general public, there is still a stagnant amount of concern and confusion regarding the vaccine’s safety.
However, people should know that the information spread about these mRNA (Messenger Ribonucleic Acid) vaccines (technology used in both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) claiming that they cause ‘DNA altering’ are baseless, and there are no long-term effects from taking them. While it may be true that you may get temporary side effects from the vaccine, such as body aches or fever, this only acts as a sign that your immune system recognizes and fights the virus by generating a response. The side effects will most likely be far less painful than actually getting the virus. This is true for other immunizations from childhood through old age.
Some points to be remembered about these relatively ‘new’ vaccines are that they are not new at all! It is said that they have been under study for almost 20 years. Dr. Anthony Fauci, an American physician and immunologist who has served as the lead director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, even stated that,
“The speed [of the development of the mRNA vaccine] is a reflection of years of work that went before… That’s what the public has to understand.”
Along with these 20 years of work towards the vaccine, another question arises: whether these particular vaccines underwent the same process as other vaccines before the pandemic. The answer is yes, as both of these vaccines underwent a Phase 3 trial, the same as any other vaccine, studying a large population to determine safety and efficacy. Also, to provide further insight into the altering of DNA, mRNA compounds tell the body how to produce a type of protein.
This protein made from the vaccine only works by creating a robust antibody response to COVID-19 without giving the host long-term effects and cannot interact deeper with your DNA as it is contained in the nucleus which has a protective shell that the mRNA cannot break.
Furthermore, when receiving the vaccine, you will truly not get COVID-19. In actuality, none of the vaccines under study use a live virus. After taking the vaccination, if you do get COVID from another source, the symptoms will only be mild as the immune system can quickly and efficiently treat the body as it already has the protein ‘memorized’ from when the vaccination was given.