Trust index: Does the vaccine alter your RNA, DNA?

Statements made at DeSantis new conferences put though ‘Trust Index’

During several media appearances on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis and another speaker made statements regarding the coronavirus vaccine and “natural immunity” from COVID-19.

News 6 ran these statements by medical experts.

Not true: ‘The vaccine changes our RNA’

During Desantis’ news conference in Alachua County Monday, a man who said he works for the City of Gainesville made a statement at the podium.

“The vaccine changes your RNA so for me, that’s a problem,” he said.

News 6 brought that claim to University of South Florida Epidemiologist Dr. Jason Salemi and Pediatric Pulmonologist Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi who both agree, it’s just not true.

Not True

After review, we've found this information is Not True.

What is the Trust Index?

“A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m not getting the vaccine because it will alter my DNA and RNA.’ No, the mRNA breaks down quickly after entering people’s cells and is unable to alter your DNA,” said Salemi.

“it doesn’t change it at all. The interesting thing about the vaccine is all it does is injecting you with a recipe that teaches your body how to create an antibody. The moment your body creates the antibody, the first thing it does is it destroys the recipe. It doesn’t enter the nucleus,” said Ajayi.

RNA also lives in the nucleus and is unaffected by the vaccine, according to Ajayi.

The Centers for Disease Control website states that the mRNA vaccines “do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way.”

Based on the information from doctors and the CDC, we give the claim that COVID-19 vaccines affect your RNA a ‘NOT TRUE’ stamp on our trust index.

Be careful: ‘Those who have recovered from COVID have natural immunity far stronger than those who have the vaccine’

“A lot of these firefighters and officers have already recovered from COVID and now they are being forced to do this [get vaccinated] even though scientifically they have very strong protection. Results from a study in Israel, show the vaccine is effective. But also shows those who have recovered from COVID have a natural immunity far stronger and the Cleveland clinic has come to a similar conclusion,” said DeSantis at a press conference in Tampa Monday.

Cleveland Clinic reported results of a study following caregivers over five months. Some unvaccinated, testing positive for the virus, others getting the vaccine. In a statement, the clinic said:

“The data shows that the vaccine was extremely effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. In addition, during the study, none of the employees who had confirmed positive PCR test and remained unvaccinated were re-infected. It is important to note that this study was conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, before the emergence of the Delta variant. More research is needed. We do not know how long the immune system will protect itself against re-infection after COVID-19, as our study only looked at individuals over a five-month period, or how well-protected previously infected individuals are against variants. It is also important to keep in mind that this study was conducted in a population that was younger and healthier than the general population. It is safe to receive the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have previously tested positive, and we recommend all those who are eligible to receive it.”

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

What is the Trust Index?

Some doctors tell News 6, immunity can vary depending on the type of infection, amount of virus in your body or the type of vaccine.

“If you’ve already had COVID, the likelihood is that you’ve been exposed to a single strain of the virus, and you also don’t know exactly how much of the virus you’ve been exposed to,” said Salemi.

“Unless the antibody is for a certain subtype of the virus, it might be different. But in general, there isn’t a difference,” said Ajayi.

Based on those responses, when it comes to statements by the Governor regarding those who have had coronavirus having strong or even stronger immunity, we give it a ‘Be Careful’ mark on our trust index.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.