Most fears are at least in part because of false claims from anti-vaccination groups that messenger RNA vaccines can alter DNA, causing long-term health problems. But no, experts say it is not possible for any of the vaccines to alter your DNA. These mRNA vaccines contain molecular instructions — mRNA — that tell your cells to create a harmless protein similar to the spike protein on the surface of the coronavirus.


  1. That way, your immune system will recognise the actual virus and eliminate it assuming you become exposed.
  2. But the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cells where your DNA resides.
  3. It doesn’t even stay in your body — the mRNA breaks down once it has delivered the instructions to your cells.
  4. There literally is no physical connection between the RNA in these vaccines and the DNA in our cellular nuclei. So there’s no possibility for that connection, let alone for effects or adaptations.

Four types of vaccines

  1. Whole virus vaccines - Whole virus vaccines use a weakened (attenuated) or deactivated form of the pathogen that causes a disease to trigger protective immunity to it. 
  2. Protein subunit vaccines - Rather than injecting a whole pathogen to trigger an immune response, subunit vaccines (sometimes called acellular vaccines) contain purified pieces of it, which have been specially selected for their ability to stimulate immune cells.
  3. Nucleic acid vaccines - Nucleic acid vaccines use genetic material (could be DNA or RNA) from a disease-causing virus or bacterium (a pathogen) to stimulate an immune response against it.
  4. Viral vector-based vaccines - Viral vector-based vaccines differ from most conventional vaccines in that they don’t actually contain antigens, but rather use the body’s own cells to produce them. They do this by using a modified virus (the vector) to deliver genetic code for antigen, in the case of COVID-19 spike proteins found on the surface of the virus, into human cells.