Fact Check: No Evidence Linking Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine to Cancer or Health Issues

Sun Dec 10 2023
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NEW YORK: Contrary to baseless claims circulating on social media, there is no evidence to support the assertion that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine contains a DNA sequence, specifically Simian Virus 40 (SV40), that could lead to health problems, including cancer.

The Associated Press (AP) new agency has assessed the claims as false, clarifying that no credible evidence has been found to suggest DNA fragments used in the vaccine’s development are causing adverse health effects in recipients.

The misinformation resurfaced during a recent congressional hearing where Dr. Robert Malone, involved in developing the mRNA technology used in the vaccine, testified about the alleged presence of SV40 DNA sequence in the Pfizer vaccine. However, regulatory agencies and vaccine experts have debunked these claims, emphasizing the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) clarified that non-functional fragments of SV40’s DNA sequence are used in the vaccine’s production as starting material. These fragments are broken down and removed during manufacturing, with any trace amounts remaining well within established safety guidelines.

Speculations About COVID-19 Vaccines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US reiterated the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, stating that no safety concerns related to residual DNA have been identified despite over one billion doses administered. Pfizer emphasized the common practice of using DNA sequences in vaccine development and debunked the notion that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine poses a theoretical cancer risk.

Experts, including Paul Offit from the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, dismissed the claims, highlighting the negligible amount of DNA material in the vaccine compared to daily exposure to foreign DNA through diet.

Offit also explained the challenges of DNA fragments entering cells and the need for specific enzymes for integration, refuting the possibility of altering an individual’s genetic code as claimed in the misinformation.



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