No evidence of COVID-19 or vaccines entering DNA, finds Australian scientists

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Research findings from the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia categorically debunk claims that COVID-19 and coronavirus vaccines can enter a person’s DNA.

Professor Geoff Faulkner from the Queensland Brain Institute has refuted claims that COVID-19 can enter a person’s DNA and said that these claims have led to “scaremongering” and people should not hesitate to be vaccinated.

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Professor Faulkner team’s research findings which was published in ‘Cell Reports’ showed there was no evidence of COVID-19 – or the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines – entering DNA.

“The evidence refutes this concept being used to fuel vaccine hesitancy,” he said.

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The research was conducted to assess widely-spread findings, published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,’ suggesting positive COVID-19 tests long after recovery are due to the virus being incorporated into DNA.

“We looked into their claims that the human cells and machinery turned COVID-19 RNA into DNA, causing permanent mutations,” Professor Faulkner said.

“We assessed the claims in cells grown in the laboratory, conducted DNA sequencing and found no evidence of COVID-19 in DNA.

“From a public health point of view, we would say that there are no concerns that the virus or vaccines can be incorporated into human DNA.”

Professor Faulkner is a computational and molecular biologist with expertise in genomics and transposable elements and his team studies DNA changes to determine how they impact human biology.

For the ‘Cell Reports’ publication, Faulkner worked with virologists, including Associate Professor Daniel Watterson from UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.

Associate Professor Watterson said the research confirmed there was no unusual viral activity and the COVID-19 behavior was in line with what was expected from a coronavirus.

Read more: Hard-won gains fighting coronavirus at risk as Delta variant spreads, says WHO

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