Massive BACKLASH: Forbes writer claims mRNA COVID injections alter human DNA
In response to the understandable backlash, the author edited the article’s title – but the content of his article, which describes the various DNA changes that do happen after getting a COVID shot, remains completely unchanged.
Forbes headline about COVID shots and DNA raises eyebrows
Steven Salzberg is a professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. On November 29, 2021, an article he wrote was posted on the Forbes magazine website. At the time, the article was titled: “Yes, The Vaccine Changes Your DNA. A Tiny Bit. That’s A Good Thing.”
Immediately, the article title faced immense criticism. Fact-checkers reduced it to nothing more than an “inaccurate clickbait headline.” It wasn’t long before Salzberg changed the title of his article to a less inflammatory (if slightly more confusing) headline, “Covid Vaccines Don’t Alter Your DNA – They Help Choose Cells To Strengthen Your Immune Response.”
But despite the title change, the content of Salzberg’s article did not change at all. His main argument: the COVID shots “don’t directly alter your DNA,” but that your immune system undergoes certain changes in its DNA in response to the injection.
CDC “got it wrong” about a major COVID shot myth, says Johns Hopkins professor
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says on its website it is a myth that an mRNA COVID shot will change your DNA.
Here’s the CDC’s detailed answer: “COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way. Both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines deliver instructions (genetic material) to our cells to start building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the material never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept.”
But Salzberg claims that “the CDC got it wrong” here by suggesting the question of whether COVID shots – or any vax, for that matter – can alter a person’s DNA can be answered with a simple “no.”
In his article, he explains that the mRNA COVID shot contains genetic instructions that tell a person’s body to make spike proteins, similar to the spike proteins found on the outside of the coronavirus itself. In response to these spike proteins (which the body sees as foreign), a person’s immune system creates antibodies to help find and destroy them. These antibodies, Salzberg says, are then” ‘remembered’ by the immune system, in the form of special cells called B cells that have slightly different DNA!”
The DNA inside these memory B cells is different from the DNA in your other cells is “because of the vaccine,” Salzberg continues, before adding that a “similar change to your DNA happens if you’re infected by the COVID-19 virus itself.”
Apparently, the process Salzberg describes here is a well-known phenomenon called V(D)J recombination. It’s normal for B cells and other immune cells to undergo this slight DNA change after a person gets a vaccine or even after recovering from an infection, including COVID-19 and the common cold.
The bottom line?
The question of whether COVID shots change your DNA doesn’t have a clear yes/no answer, at least not now – but the CDC’s claim that “COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way” could be seen as misinformation.
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