The current push underway to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 in record time has many medical professionals concerned, even those who are normally in favor of vaccines. One of the big areas of worry related to the effort is DNA damage.
Internal medicine specialist Dr. Carrie Madej posted a video online recently in which she outlined her concerns about a vaccine. She explained that human DNA is not fixed. People’s genes can be reprogrammed and turned off and on to bring about changes in the body that can improve their health – or compromise it. Stress, diet and toxins can reprogram our genes, as can the lab-created genetically modified cell lines that are used in developing vaccines.
This leads Dr. Madej to wonder at which point a person is no longer themselves after drugs or vaccines have changed their DNA. Since it’s possible to patent genetically modified material, can a human whose DNA has been changed using a patented drug be considered a genetically modified organism that can also be patented and owned?
Such a vaccine would work very differently from traditional vaccines. These new mRNA vaccines essentially tell human cells to create the properties of an infectious organism. In the case of COVID-19, the vaccine places genetic instructions taken from coronavirus into human cells, prompting the cells’ ribosomes to generate infectious spike proteins. This would spur the immune system to attack the body’s proteins and spring B cell antibodies into action.
Even though this process might create antibodies in vitro, that does not guarantee that people will be granted full-spectrum immunity from such a vaccine because a complete adaptive response would also involve T cells. There’s also the fact that coronaviruses mutate over time, which means that the mRNA sequences that are used in the vaccines would have to be modified every year to keep up with the latest strains and people would have to get injections on a regular basis to offer any degree of continued protection.
Unfortunately, the rush to get a vaccine to market means that long-term studies into the health effects of inserting a gene into the genome in this way will not be possible. What we do know, however, is that preliminary clinical results have shown that compounding injections like this can cause negative effects and precursors to chronic disease. With higher doses, those risks rise.
Unfortunately, the recombinant DNA that is being proposed for the development of the COVID-19 vaccines is being backed by proponents of vaccines like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline despite the fact that it has never been used on humans before.
It’s particularly problematic when you consider that many public health officials would like to see such a vaccine given to everybody, whether they want it or not, in their pursuit of “herd immunity.”
Adding to people’s fears about the vaccine is the fact that some vaccine manufacturers have already been given blanket immunity protection against any future liability claims. In other words, if you end up developing any serious side effects or even dying from this vaccine, you will have no recourse against the manufacturer.
A senior executive from AstraZeneca, who is working on a COVID-19 vaccine, acknowledged that blanket immunity protection is in place and that the company won’t be responsible should people experience negative effects in the future. The company plans to produce more than 2 billion doses of its vaccine and distribute them to the U.S., England and Europe. Without the prospect of being held liable for the vaccines looming over their heads, these companies have no incentive to give their vaccines proper safety tests.
No one wants to suffer from coronavirus, but we certainly don’t want our genomes altered in a way that could make us property controlled by pharmaceutical companies, either. For now, the best approach is to focus on prevention by wearing a mask, engaging in social distancing, and ensuring adequate nutrition through a healthy diet.
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