• Studies have shown that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are safe and, contrary to conspiracy theories, do not alter genetic information.
  • Jonathan Baktari MD praises mRNA vaccine technology for its potential to help fight other pandemics.
  • mRNA technology has a more widespread application among various illnesses and could drastically change the way we treat patients.

Vaccines have been one of the greatest inventions of our time and prevent millions of deaths each year. It’s nothing to be dismissed, but a new technology might once again revolutionize the way we fight disease.

But let’s back up for a moment.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Put simply, vaccines contain weakened or inactivated parts of an organism. These parts are enough to trigger an immune response in your body, but not enough to make you sick. Thus, should your body be exposed to a virus that you’ve already been vaccinated against, it’ll know how to fight it.

What if your body knew how to fight disease without needing that initial exposure to the weakened or inactivated part of the organism? This brings us to mRNA technology.

What is mRNA Technology?

Let’s start with a simplified explanation: Messenger RNA (mRNA) basically gives your body instructions for how to create its own drugs to fight disease.

More specifically, whereas traditional vaccines expose you to part of a virus so that your immune system learns how to fight it, mRNA vaccines teach your cells how to make what they need to trigger your immune system. In other words, the vaccine doesn’t expose you to anything. It shows your body how to fight disease naturally.

The elegance of mRNA technology is that it allows your body to become its own doctor. By providing your body with human-edited mRNA, theoretically, you can commandeer your own cellular machinery to create any protein under the sun. By all accounts, mRNA technology has proven to be one of the biggest stories in the science world at the moment.

Do mRNA Vaccines Change Human DNA?

While some people have raised concerns over mRNA vaccines changing human DNA, the World Health Organization confirms that this technology doesn’t affect the DNA structure of human cells, nor the hereditary material contained in them. The WHO stated, “The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology has been rigorously tested for safety, and clinical trials have shown that mRNA vaccines provide a long-lasting immune response. The mRNA vaccine technology has been studied for decades, including in the context of vaccines against the Zika virus, rabies, and influenza. mRNA vaccines are not live viral vaccines and do not interfere with human DNA.”

The materials present in the vaccines are based on ribonucleic acids (RNA). When this RNA enters the human body, they do not infiltrate the nucleus of cells by any means. Consequently, they do not have any chance of making direct contact with the hereditary material contained within the nucleus. As a result, it is safe to conclude that the coronavirus vaccine and other mRNA vaccines that function on this same principle will not alter one’s DNA.

This technology is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for decades. However, it was the coronavirus pandemic that forced us to pull the trigger and take mRNA vaccines more seriously.

How Did COVID-19 Impact mRNA Technology?

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a catalyst in the rapid development and implementation of vaccine programs. Out of sheer necessity, science hit the ground running to stop the nightmarish surge of coronavirus and its numerous variants. This was where mRNA technology was thrusted into the spotlight.

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, you have options. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna went the route of mRNA vaccines. In this case, the vaccine uses genetically engineered mRNA to deliver “instructions” to your cells. These instructions tell your body how to make the protein found in COVID-19. Your body then creates antibodies and T cells, and should you become infected, these antibodies and T cells know how to fight the virus.

Technology that has been sitting on the shelves for years finally got a chance to prove itself, and it has. Vaccination has saved countless lives from the threat of COVID-19, and for those who still got infected, it has kept them away from hospitalization and life-threatening symptoms.

mRNA Vaccines Beyond COVID-19

mRNA technology has been pivotal in fighting this pandemic. And that begs an important question: What else can we do?

For starters, we need to acknowledge that this pandemic isn’t our first, and it won’t be our last. Between mass migration, dense populations, and deforestation, numerous experts, including Bill Gates, believe it’s only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits. Jonathan Baktari MD of e7 Health, a leading specialist in providing healthcare and vaccine solutions to the population, says, “The next pandemic is coming. Thankfully, mRNA can now be added to the virus technologies that we have.”

Jonathan Baktari MD and e7 Health have been prominently leading this breakthrough approach through nationwide COVID-19 testing and online COVID-19 education. They have noted that mRNA technology provides “the most exciting and robust defense against inevitable respiratory viruses.”

Additionally, mRNA vaccines are currently in development for numerous other potential pandemic zoonotic infections. These include the Ebola virus, HIV-1, influenza, the rabies virus, and the Zika virus. Studies have also stated that there could further be the possibility for “the control of pandemic avian influenza by the combination of improved and rapid viral genotyping and the rapid development and mass production of mRNA vaccines.”

BioNTech is currently developing individualized therapies that would create on-demand proteins associated with specific tumors to teach the body to fight off advanced cancer by stimulating a targeted immune response. The company also recently teamed up with Pfizer again in a joint effort to create a single shingles shot that utilizes the very same mRNA breakthroughs that were instrumental in creating the COVID-19 vaccines.

The potential of this technology cannot be understated. We might finally have a way to naturally fight the flu (which can kill more than 50,000 people yearly), HIV (which has killed roughly 36 million people), and cancer—the second biggest cause of death.

The applications of mRNA technology are endless, the possibilities limitless.   

Final Thoughts

Advancements in mRNA technology have aimed to support vaccines that will allow our bodies to create personalized immune responses to pathogens. While each person’s set of antibodies will be different, they will all serve the same purpose in lessening the effects of harmful viruses. Companies such as Pizer, Johnson & Johnson, e7 Health, and Moderna understand the importance of mRNA in the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.

It may be that the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a harsh introduction to mRNA. Yet given the potential it wields to treat diseases like cancer, malaria, and possible future pandemics, this is one of the most exciting scientific developments to observe today.

Jonathan Baktari MD/e7 Health Jonathan Baktari MD/e7 Health Photo: Jonathan Baktari MD/e7 Health