What is “gene therapy” ??? but a buzz word that has a suitable negative connotation (to some) to appeal to emotions rather than reason, when reasoning is clearly not involved here. It’s like talking about “cancer therapy” and putting a whole universe under one tent. I’m an ex-molecular biologist who has taught undergraduate and graduate biology courses as a college professor, including both classical genetics and modern molecular biology, cloning, transformation, etc. The vaccines involve the transient expression of an unstable mRNA molecule in muscles cells - the mRNA is so unstable it has to be refrigerated (short-term) or frozen (long-term) to keep in from breaking down in aqueous solution all by itself. This is not brand new unproven technology. It has been worked on for the past decade in attempt to develop a SARS-1 coronavirus vaccine, an HIV vaccine, influenza vaccine, etc., with no indications of any potential lasting long-term harm to animals or humans over that time period. Past vaccination technologies have largely depended on using a weakened attenuated LIVE virus (the Sabin polio vaccine, for instance) or chemically inactive dead virus (the original Salk polio vaccine). Yeah! Tell me it’s a lot safer to be injected with an attenuated virus (or an adenovirus carrying a piece of the SARS-2 coronavirus). The mRNA encodes a single protein, the spike protein of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Are our very own mRNA’s constantly in danger of transforming us - subjecting us to gene therapy?! Except for the protein the mRNA produces, which has no DNA altering capability or gene expression altering capability that we know of, it’s just another mRNA molecule that lives its life, expresses some protein and is destroyed. The benefit is that the protein is foreign, stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and cytotoxic T-cells (along with T-memory cells) that the real virus with the same protein on its surface will meet up with and come to a bad end, rather than us.
From the CDC website: Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC
Facts about COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines
They cannot give someone COVID-19.
- mRNA vaccines do not use the live virus that causes COVID-19.
They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
- mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA (genetic material) is kept.
- The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it is finished using the instructions.
mRNA Vaccines Are New, But Not Unknown
Researchers have been studying and working with mRNA vaccines for decades. Interest has grown in these vaccines because they can be developed in a laboratory using readily available materials. This means the process can be standardized and scaled up, making vaccine development faster than traditional methods of making vaccines.
mRNA vaccines have been studied before for flu, Zika, rabies, and cytomegalovirus (CMV). As soon as the necessary information about the virus that causes COVID-19 was available, scientists began designing the mRNA instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein into an mRNA vaccine.
Preaching about the evils of gene therapy in the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines reminds me of how Elmer Gantry made his living in Sinclair Lewis’s novel by that name (great movie with Burt Lancaster!).