What is a RNA Vaccine?

Michael Moore 02 December 2020

First we need to make clear what these terms mean. RNA and DNA

According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. “DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, while RNA is ribonucleic acid. Although DNA and RNA both carry genetic information, there are quite a few differences between them.”

A quick summary of Differences Between DNA and RNA shows that DNA contains the sugar deoxyribose, while RNA contains the sugar ribose. The difference between ribose and deoxyribose is that ribose has one more -OH group than deoxyribose, which has -H attached to the second (2') carbon in the ring.

DNA is a double-stranded molecule, while RNA is a single-stranded molecule.


DNA is stable under alkaline conditions, while RNA is not stable.


DNA and RNA perform different functions in humans. DNA is responsible for storing and transferring genetic information, while RNA directly codes for amino acids and acts as a messenger between DNA and ribosomes to make proteins. It is the RNA that is used in Vaccines, including the proposed COVID-19 Vaccines produced by AstraZenca, Moderna, CureVac (German Company), Pfizer and others.


DNA and RNA base pairing is slightly different since DNA uses the bases adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine; RNA uses adenine, uracil, cytosine, and guanine. Uracil differs from thymine in that it lacks a methyl group on its ring.


Comparison of DNA and RNA Here is a table from Anne Marie Helmenstine that clearly outlines the differences.

Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sometimes occurs. It is similar to DNA, except thymine is replaced by uracil. This type of RNA is found in some viruses. When these viruses infect eukaryotic cells, the dsRNA can interfere with normal RNA function and stimulate an interferon response. Circular single-strand RNA (circRNA) has been found in both animals and plants.4 At present, the function of this type of RNA is unknown.


Modifying DNA

So what does all this mean? Basically it means that RNA is used to alter and modify the basic DNA. Whether the small amount of RNA in a vaccine has the ability to alter the entire body is moot at this stage, but how it affects the DNA structure and strands is somewhat disturbing, particularly in the long run.


In a nutshell, an RNA vaccine or mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine is a new type of vaccine that transfects fragments of synthetic viral mRNA into human cells, which reprogram the cells to produce pathogen antigens (e.g. viral protein spikes or cancer antigens), which then stimulate an adaptive immune response against the pathogen. The mRNA molecule is held in a drug delivery vehicle, such as lipid nanoparticles, to protect the fragile mRNA strands, and aid their absorption into the human cells. The advantages of RNA vaccines over traditional protein vaccines is basically production speed and cost, and the induction of cellular immunity as well as humoral immunity. Given the novel nature of the mechanism of the RNA vaccine, little known about the longer-term side effects, however, autoimmunity, and reactogenicity (from the lipid nanoparticles), are highlighted. The fragility of the mRNA molecule requires cold chain distribution and low temperature storage, which may impair effective efficacy due to inadequate dosage.


Up until November 2020, no mRNA vaccine, drug, or technology platform, had ever been approved for use in humans, and before 2020, mRNA was only considered a theoretical or experimental candidate for use in humans. As of November 2020, there were two novel mRNA vaccines awaiting emergency use authorization as COVID-19 vaccines (having completed the required 8-week period post final human trials) – MRNA-1273 from Moderna, and BNT162b2 from a BioNTech/Pfizer partnership. Global regulators are being pushed to balance a lack of medium to longer-term data on potential side-effects from the novel mechanism of the new mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, with the apparent need to address coronavirus for which the faster production capability of mRNA vaccines is valuable.


Historical Fact

Hundreds of young Swedes suffered and acknowledged debilitating narcolepsy after a mass vaccination campaign against the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic. The vaccine, produced by GlaxoSmithKline resulted in hundreds of young Swedes having permanent attacks of narcolepsy (Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine). So much so that the frug company had to pay out 440 of 702 narcolepsy claims linked to Pandemrix, paying out a total of 100 million kronor (9.8 million euros, $11.6 million) in compensation.


The proposed COVID vaccines are being rushed through without the usual testing and trials and the long term effects of these vaccines can only be contemplated.


References:

Burge S, Parkinson GN, Hazel P, Todd AK, Neidle S (2006). "Quadruplex DNA: sequence, topology and structure". Nucleic Acids Research. 34 (19): 5402–15. doi:10.1093/nar/gkl655

Whitehead KA, Dahlman JE, Langer RS, Anderson DG (2011). "Silencing or stimulation? siRNA delivery and the immune system". Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. 2: 77–96. doi:10.1146/annurev-chembioeng-061010-114133


Sources


https://www.thoughtco.com/dna-versus-rna-608191

https://www.technologynetworks.com/genomics/lists/what-are-the-key-differences-between-dna-and-rna-296719

https://study.com/academy/lesson/differences-between-rna-and-dna-types-of-rna-mrna-trna-rrna.html

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-11-narcolepsy-fiasco-spurs-covid-vaccine.html

Recent Posts

See All

News