Each week, OMRF President Dr. Stephen Prescott opens “Adam’s Journal” to answer a medical question from OMRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Adam Cohen.
Here’s an inquiry from a reader:
I have been reading that some of the Covid-19 vaccine is made from the cells of aborted babies. If it is, then I do not want to be inoculated. Please explain what you know about this. Thank you.
— Sheila Patterson
Dr. Prescott Prescribes
This is not true.
Neither of the vaccines currently being administered to Americans — one manufactured and developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by Moderna — use any fetal tissue or cell lines in their production. So you can rest assured that any vaccine you receive will not contain any aborted fetal cells.
To generate an immune response in your body, these vaccines rely on a compound messenger RNA. Although this compound emulates nucleic acids that are found in our bodies, it is generated synthetically, in a laboratory.
As its name suggests, messenger RNA conveys genetic information; in this case, instructions that direct your immune system to do battle if it encounters SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
Some have worried that this synthetic RNA might alter your body’s genes. But the vaccine developers have engineered the nucleic acid explicitly to prevent this from occurring. In addition, throughout the process of developing and testing the vaccine, scientists have searched for any evidence this might be happening — and found none.
While we’re at it, I’d also like to answer one more question I’ve seen circulating on the internet (and actually have been asked, though not by Ms. Patterson): No, the vaccines do not contain microchips or any other tracing devices.
It’s natural to be skeptical about new technologies, especially when they’re going into our bodies. And good science is always built on a healthy degree of skepticism.
While these new vaccines have been rolled out quickly, the technology that underlies them has been years in the making. These vaccines are tried, true and trustworthy.
No matter who you are, I recommend getting vaccinated as soon as you have a chance. There should be no ethical conundrum here; if not for yourself, roll up your sleeve to protect those you love.
Do you have a health query for Dr. Prescott? Email email@example.com and your question may be answered in a future column!