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No, the COVID-19 vaccines will not alter or change your DNA in any way.
Though they may share the same “NA” in their names, mRNA and DNA are very different and you do not have to worry about a COVID-19 vaccine affecting your DNA in any way.
DNA is what makes up our genetic code. It's a large, microscopic, long, double-stranded piece of organic material.
mRNA delivers information. It’s a single-stranded copy of a small piece of DNA. mRNA sends instructions to other parts of the cell, like a messenger delivering a how-to guide. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, mRNA tells cells how to make specific proteins that kick-start your body’s COVID-19 immune response. After this information is delivered, your body quickly breaks down the mRNA.
Your DNA and the mRNA from the COVID-19 vaccine never interact. Your DNA is stored in the protected center of your cells called the nucleus. The vaccine’s mRNA cannot enter the nucleus and thus doesn’t interact with your DNA in any way. Your DNA cannot be changed by the mRNA in a COVID-19 vaccine.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use mRNA, which has been studied for decades. Each COVID-19 vaccine has been held to the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards.
To schedule an appointment or learn more, visit our COVID-19 vaccine page.