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Reuters falsely claims Covid-19 vaccines do not alter DNA

DNA vaccines could alter a recipients’ genetic makeup permanently. Despite this, news agency Reuters has claimed that a future Covid-19 DNA vaccine will not genetically modify humans.

Published: June 25, 2020, 9:51 am

    Worse still, this fake news headline is from their “fact-check team” that stated on May 18, 2020: “False claim: A COVID-19 vaccine will genetically modify humans.”

    To reach their “fact-checked” conclusion, Reuters cites two researchers: “Mark Lynas, a visiting fellow at Cornell University’s Alliance for Science group”, and “Dr. Paul McCray, Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, and Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa.”

    The New York Times, on March 10, 2015, however noted in an article titled “Protection Without a Vaccine” that by “delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease”.

    Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the 2015 study commented: “The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or IGT — is underway, and several new ones are planned.”

    “IGT is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.

    “The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”

    David Baltimore, a Nobel Laureate (1975, in Physiology/Medicine), and the past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1997-2006) told the NYT that this vaccination strategy would scare people because “it means altering their own DNA, even if it prevents a potentially fatal disease”.

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