COVID-19 Vaccines Myth Vs Fact: No Vaccines Do Not Alter DNA

COVID-19 Vaccines Myth Vs Fact: No Vaccines Do Not Alter DNA

According to the experts, mRNA vaccines having the ability to alter human DNA is a myth as mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cells where DNA resides
Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Vaccine
- in Coronavirus Outbreak, Coronavirus Vaccine
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COVID-19 Vaccines Myth Vs Fact No Vaccines Do Not Alter DNAPfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 and Moderna’s mRNA-1273 are mRNA (messenger-RNA) vaccines developed in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic
Highlights
  • mRNA vaccines give a message to the human body to produce immune response
  • mRNA is fragile and can hang around inside a cell for only 72 hours: Expert
  • mRNA vaccines are being used for the first time and are approved by WHO

New Delhi: Along with fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts are battling misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Right from the origins of the virus, home remedies to cure COVID-19 and now with vaccine rollout, researchers, medical experts and scientists have throughout the pandemic had an additional task of dispelling myths and busting misinformation. One of the common myths doing rounds on the internet around coronavirus vaccine is that it irreversibly changes the DNA of an individual. NDTV spoke to experts to understand the science behind it.

Also Read: WHO’s Team Tracing the Origin Of COVID-19 Is Back From China; Experts Explain Why It Is Important To Find The Source Of The Outbreak

The myth the COVID-19 vaccines alter the DNA is specific to mRNA (messenger-RNA) vaccines as they use the genetic approach. Two of the COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech’s BNT162b2 and Moderna’s mRNA-1273 – are mRNA vaccines.

DNA Vs mRNA

Dr Mala V. Kaneria, Consultant, Infectious Diseases, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, suggests understanding the difference between DNA and mRNA. She explained,

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a double stranded, very long genetic material which is spunned up together inside a part of the cell called the nucleus. Whereas mRNA is a single stranded copy of a very small part of the DNA which is routinely made in the nucleus and released into the cytoplasm outside the nucleus. The function of mRNA is to act like an instruction manual to provide instructions to the cellular machinery to make proteins which are required for the body.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Explainer: How Do Vaccines Work?

What Are mRNA Vaccines?

In layman’s language, the job of mRNA is to give a message to our cells to make a protein or even just a piece of a protein which are like those of the virus. The protein then triggers an immune response inside our bodies.

Additionally, Dr Prashant Borade, Head – Critical Care Unit, Global Hospitals, Mumbai, said,

The available COVID-19 vaccines are designed to help your body’s immune system fight the coronavirus. The messenger RNA from two of the first types of COVID-19 vaccines does enter cells, but not the nucleus of the cells where DNA resides. The mRNA does its job to cause the cell to make protein to stimulate the immune system, and then it quickly breaks down — without affecting the person’s DNA.

Dr Kaneria added that mRNA is fragile compared to the DNA and can hang around inside a cell for only 72 hours.

The minute mRNA’s function of giving instructions to our cells is over; it is degraded by our cells. Therefore, mRNA doesn’t remain in the body for long, said Dr Kaneria.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak Explained: What Is mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Used By Pfizer-BioNTech And Moderna?

Are mRNA Vaccines Safe?

Dr Katherine O’Brien, WHO Director of the Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals dismissed the rumour and said, there is no way that mRNA can turn into DNA. And there’s no way that mRNA can change the DNA of our human cells. She added,

What mRNA is, it is the instructions to the body to make a protein. Most vaccines are developed by actually giving a protein or giving a small, tiny component of the germ that we are trying to vaccinate against. And this is a new approach where instead of giving that tiny little part, we just give the instructions to our own bodies to make that tiny little part and then our natural immune system responds to it.

According to Dr Kaneria, the fear that mRNA vaccines can modify DNA stems from the fact that there are certain viruses like the HIV virus which are known to integrate into the DNA and cause its replication. However, in the case of SARS-CoV-2, mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell and does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA.

On December 31, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine for emergency use, making the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO since the outbreak began. Though the technology has been there for decades, Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first mRNA vaccine to be approved for use in humans.

Also Read: Vaccine Hesitancy: What It Means And How We Can Tackle It, Experts Explain

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

11,71,50,768Cases
4,82,03,864Active
6,63,47,035Recovered
25,99,869Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 192 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 11,71,50,768 and 25,99,869 have died; 4,82,03,864 are active cases and 6,63,47,035 have recovered as on March 9, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

1,12,44,786 15388Cases
1,87,462 -1285Active
1,08,99,394 16596Recovered
1,57,930 77Deaths
In India, there are 1,12,44,786 confirmed cases including 1,57,930 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,87,462 and 1,08,99,394 have recovered as on March 9, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Mumbai45,478
Thane13,660
Pune9,920
Mumbai Suburban5,363
Aurangabad1,974
Nashik1,575
Raigad1,462
Palghar1,421
Solapur1,291
Jalgaon1,039
Akola757
Nagpur692
Kolhapur646
Satara629
Ratnagiri350
Amravati291
Dhule228
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Ahmednagar190
Nanded176
Yavatmal150
Sangli145
Latur139
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Buldhana88
Parbhani78
gondia69
Beed54
Nandurbar42
Gadchiroli42
Bhandara41
Chandrapur32
Washim13
Wardha11

22,28,471 8,744

98,859 346

20,77,112 9,068

52,500 22

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kasaragod333
Palakkad224
Malappuram119
Kollam118
Thrissur106
Thiruvananthapuram104
Pathanamthitta98
Kozhikode90
Alappuzha76
Kottayam73
Ernakulam60
Idukki40
Wayanad36

10,78,739 1,412

39,532 1,630

10,34,895 3,030

4,312 12

DistrictCases
Udupi1,176
Kalaburagi669
Yadgir538
Bengaluru Urban529
Raichur369
Mandya346
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Hassan205
Davangere204
Vijayapura201
Dakshina Kannada179
Chikkaballapura149
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Uttara Kannada95
Shivamogga67
Dharwad61
Ballari60
Gadag45
Bengaluru Rural40
Tumakuru36
Kolar29
Haveri24
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Koppal5
Kodagu4
Ramanagara3
Chamarajanagara0

9,55,451 436

6,834 47

9,36,250 478

12,367 5

DistrictCases
Kurnool795
Krishna557
Guntur511
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Chittoor319
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Y.S.R.205
West Godavari199
Srikakulam183
Prakasam104
Visakhapatnam103
Vizianagaram23

8,90,766 74

1,009 11

8,82,581 61

7,176 2

DistrictCases
Chennai23,324
Chengalpattu1,314
Thiruvallur774
Villupuram509
Kanchipuram503
Tiruvannamalai496
Cuddalore477
Ariyalur444
Tirunelveli433
Tuticorin333
Kallakurichi324
Madurai322
Salem258
Coimbatore188
Virudhunagar185
Dindigul175
Perambalur133
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Ramanathapuram119
Tiruppur116
Kanniyakumari110
Tenkasi103
Nagapattinam99
Karur88
Namakkal83
Erode75
Vellore71
Thiruvarur67
Pudukkottai53
Sivaganga46
Tirupathur45
Krishnagiri43
The Nilgiris17
Dharmapuri15

8,55,677 556

4,018 21

8,39,138 532

12,521 3

DistrictCases
North West5,463
Central4,817
West4,768
New Delhi3,405
North3,059
East2,472
South East2,446
South West2,391
South2,329
North East1,914
Shahdara1,580

6,41,340 239

1,730 73

6,28,686 309

10,924 3

DistrictCases
Gautam Buddha Nagar1,119
Agra933
Ghaziabad794
Meerut504
Lucknow386
Saharanpur298
Kanpur Nagar286
Moradabad252
Varanasi243
Hapur225
Aligarh215
Basti214
Amethi206
Rampur203
Jaunpur194
Firozabad190
Barabanki168
Gorakhpur166
Bulandshahr166
Siddharth Nagar159
Ghazipur159
Bijnor157
Deoria143
Azamgarh138
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Mathura129
Ayodhya120
Muzaffarnagar117
Sambhal116
Sultanpur97
Ambedkar Nagar92
Maharajganj85
Amroha80
Rae Bareli78
Bahraich73
Kheri72
Kannauj69
Baghpat68
Kushi Nagar67
Bhadohi60
Ballia60
Gonda59
Etah52
Hardoi49
Balrampur49
Mau48
Mainpuri46
Etawah46
Hathras43
Unnao42
Jalaun41
Jhansi41
Shamli40
Chandauli38
Auraiya37
Farrukhabad36
Sitapur32
Prayagraj30
Banda27
Shahjahanpur25
Shravasti23
Budaun23
Mirzapur22
Bareilly17
Kasganj16
Pratapgarh15
Pilibhit15
Sonbhadra10
Kaushambi6
Kanpur Dehat4
Chitrakoot4
Lalitpur3
Hamirpur3
Mahoba3
Fatehpur3

6,04,380 101

1,634 13

5,94,008 113

8,738 1

DistrictCases
Kolkata2,777
Howrah1,435
24 Paraganas North1,031
Hooghly604
24 Paraganas South281
Maldah235
Dinajpur Uttar216
Coochbehar210
Birbhum206
Medinipur West159
Medinipur East153
Nadia139
Purba Bardhaman130
Murshidabad125
Bankura116
Darjeeling97
Jalpaiguri88
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purulia66
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Alipurduar39
Kalimpong18
Jhargram9

5,76,838 215

3,155 8

5,63,403 221

10,280 2

DistrictCases
Ganjam581
Jajapur322
Khordha238
Baleshwar190
Kendrapara164
Cuttack155
Bhadrak137
Balangir129
Puri103
Sundargarh102
Jagatsinghapur91
Nayagarh86
Mayurbhanj73
Nuapada69
Gajapati61
Dhenkanal36
Boudh34
Kendujhar34
Deogarh33
Kalahandi33
Sonepur29
Kandhamal28
Anugul26
Malkangiri20
Bargarh16
Koraput16
Sambalpur16
Jharsuguda8
Nabarangpur2
Rayagada2

3,37,803 59

718 29

3,35,168 88

1,917

DistrictCases
Jaipur2,177
Jodhpur1,748
Udaipur724
Bharatpur563
Kota503
Nagaur500
Ajmer379
Dungarpur374
Pali352
Jhalawar329
Bhilwara250
Sikar231
Chittorgarh188
Tonk171
Jalore164
Rajsamand140
Sirohi130
Bikaner112
Banswara91
Alwar90
Churu81
Jhunjhunu64
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Baran59
Jaisalmer53
Barmer34
Hanumangarh31
SawaiMadhopur26
Karauli17
Pratapgarh14
Ganganagar8
Bundi5

3,21,711 179

1,883 128

3,17,039 51

2,789

DistrictCases
Bilaspur100
Korba100
Mungeli87
Baloda Bazar85
Jashpur77
Janjgir-Champa56
Mahasamund54
Rajnandgaon52
Kabirdham52
Raigarh47
Raipur46
Balod41
Korea39
Durg31
Bemetara21
Kanker19
Balrampur17
Surguja14
Gariyaband10
Surajpur9
Dhamtari6
Bijapur2
Bastar2
Dantewada0
Kondagaon0
Narayanpur0
Sukma0

3,14,640 320

2,919 99

3,07,862 220

3,859 1

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2,475
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Jagitial77
Nizamabad76
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Mancherial43
YadadriBhuvanagiri40
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Vikarabad40
Nalgonda33
Warangal Urban32
Mahabubnagar30
Sangareddy26
Khammam26
Adilabad22
Nirmal21
Karimnagar17
RajannaSircilla16
Medak11
Kamareddy11
Mahabubabad10
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Nagarkurnool8
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Jangoan8
Siddipet7
Peddapalli5
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Warangal Rural4
Mulugu3
Narayanpet3
Wanaparthy1

3,00,153 142

1,769 38

2,96,740 178

1,644 2

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17,125
Surat2,311
Vadodara1,555
Gandhinagar410
Mahesana159
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Rajkot135
Arvalli134
Mahisagar125
Anand107
PanchMahals107
Patan105
SabarKantha101
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Jamnagar63
Bharuch56
Botad55
Surendranagar55
Valsad47
GirSomnath45
Dohad43
Chhotaudepur37
Naysari35
Junagadh31
Narmada25
DevbhumiDwarka22
Amreli16
Porbandar11
Tapi6
Dang5
Morbi4

2,73,941 555

3,212 72

2,66,313 482

4,416 1

DistrictCases
Gurugram2,950
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Rohtak145
Palwal120
Jhajjar114
Karnal104
Hisar98
Ambala93
Panipat78
Nuh68
Bhiwani60
Rewari56
Kurukshetra55
Sirsa50
Kaithal48
Mahendragarh47
CharkiDadri43
Panchkula39
Fatehabad38
Jind38
Yamunanagar19

2,72,751 231

2,083 52

2,67,610 177

3,058 2

DistrictCases
Indore3,839
Bhopal1,880
Ujjain799
Burhanpur351
Neemuch319
Jabalpur276
East Nimar266
Sagar228
Gwalior211
Khargone196
Dewas140
Dhar132
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Bhind87
Raisen71
Barwani60
Ratlam51
Rewa39
Shajapur39
Hoshangabad37
Vidisha37
Chhatarpur35
Betul35
Rajgarh31
Dindori29
Sheopur26
Damoh26
Satna24
Anuppur22
Panna20
Tikamgarh18
Sidhi17
Narsinghpur17
Chhindwara16
Agar Malwa15
Mandla15
Shivpuri15
Jhabua14
Shandol14
Singrauli13
Ashoknagar13
Datia12
Sehore12
Umaria10
Balaghat9
Guna8
Harda4
Alirajpur3
Katni3
Seoni2
Niwari0

2,65,070 427

3,638 32

2,57,560 394

3,872 1

DistrictCases
Patna279
Bhagalpur266
Rohtas256
Khagaria253
Begusarai243
Madhubani199
Munger188
Jehanabad178
Katihar175
Darbhanga143
Samastipur139
Siwan139
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Banka134
Buxar134
Nalanda123
Gopalganj123
Nawada122
Sheikhpura118
Gaya115
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Bhojpur103
Saran101
Muzaffarpur96
Saharsa88
Supaul87
Vaishali87
Madhepura82
Kishanganj75
Aurangabad75
Sitamarhi73
Lakhisarai72
Araria68
Pashchim Champaran57
Arwal52
Jamui47
Sheohar20

2,62,779 21

290 23

2,60,942 43

1,547 1

DistrictCases
Kamrup Metro276
Golaghat203
Nagaon143
Hojai89
Dima Hasao86
Karimganj85
Tinsukia84
Cachar80
Dibrugarh61
Hailakandi57
Lakhimpur57
Marigaon50
Dhemaji47
Kamrup42
Kokrajhar37
Dhubri30
Charaideo29
Barpeta28
Udalguri28
Sonitpur27
Jorhat24
Nalbari23
Darrang20
Sivasagar20
Goalpara19
Biswanath16
Baksa14
KarbiAnglong13
Bongaigaon12
Chirang6
West KarbiAnglong5
South SalmaraMancachar4
Majuli2

2,17,682 14

1,624 3

2,14,964 17

1,094

DistrictCases
Amritsar485
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Tarn Taran163
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
S.A.S Nagar137
Patiala132
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Pathankot86
Rupnagar (Ropar)74
Faridkot74
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Moga65
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Firozepur50
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Barnala25

1,89,620 1,229

8,020 523

1,75,659 692

5,941 14

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Srinagar300
Kulgam295
Baramulla271
Shopian255
Kupwara231
Bandipora175
Udhampur155
Ramban151
Jammu138
Budgam110
Pulwama108
Kathua53
Rajouri39
Ganderbal37
Poonch35
Doda27
Reasi26
Samba25
Kishtwar10
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0

1,27,114 70

871 21

1,24,280 90

1,963 1

DistrictCases
East Singhbum170
Ranchi148
Hazaribagh110
Garhwa80
Ramgarh75
Koderma58
Simdega48
Dhanbad32
Gumla28
Palamu27
West Singhbhum21
SaraikelaKharsawan20
Giridih19
Bokaro16
Latehar14
Khunti10
Lohardaga8
Deoghar5
Dumka5
Pakur4
Jamtara2
Godda2
Chatra1
Sahebganj0

1,20,312 53

472 9

1,18,747 44

1,093

DistrictCases
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Tehri Garhwal110
Haridwar94
Udam Singh Nagar83
Almora71
Champawat45
Pithoragarh43
Chamoli36
PauriGarhwal36
Bageshwar31
Rudraprayag30
Uttar Kashi24

97,480 58

662 30

95,123 28

1,695

DistrictCases
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Una41
Solan32
Chamba29
Bilaspur21
Mandi21
Sirmaur11
Shimla10
Kullu4
Kinnaur2
Lahaul And Spiti0

59,197 79

617 3

57,580 73

1,000 3

DistrictCases
South Goa69
North Goa57

55,463 54

632 56

54,032 110

799

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Mahe4
Karaikal2
Yanam0

39,882 14

171 5

39,041 19

670

DistrictCases
Dhalai196
Sepahijala174
Gomati74
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45
Khowai24
North Tripura14

33,424

30 0

33,003

391

DistrictCases
Churachandpur32
Kangpokpi26
Imphal West21
Thoubal18
Imphal East10
Tengnoupal9
Bishnupur7
Senapati6
Chandel5
Kamjong5
Ukhrul4
Jiribam3
Pherzawl3
Kakching2
Tamenglong2
Noney1

29,296 5

29 1

28,894 4

373

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

22,397 79

725 15

21,316 63

356 1

DistrictCases
Changlang31
Papum Pare8
Lohit3
Namsai2
West Siang1
East Siang1
Upper Siang1
Tawang1
PakkeKessang1
West Kameng0
Upper Subansiri0
Tirap0
Siang0
Shi Yomi0
Anjaw0
Lower Subansiri0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Longding0
Leparada0
KurungKumey0
KraDaadi0
Kamle0
East Kameng0
Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0

16,839

3 0

16,780

56

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
West Garo Hills5
South West Garo Hills4
North Garo Hills1
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Khasi Hills0

13,973 1

12 1

13,813 2

148

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Mon8
Kohima7
Kiphire3
Tuensang3
Peren2
Phek1
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

12,217

19 1

12,107 1

91

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

9,833 2

44 0

9,659 2

130

DistrictCases
East District3
South District3
North District0
West District0

6,174

50 0

5,989

135

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

5,026 2

7 0

4,957 2

62

DistrictCases
Kolasib11
Aizawl10
Mamit8
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Saitual1
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Saiha0
Serchhip0

4,432 4

10 2

4,412 2

10

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3,421 5

17 5

3,402

2

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

494 8

164 6

329 2

1

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