Pfizer is currently the center of attention after having claimed a 90% effective rate for their new COVID19 vaccine. The claim is a result of Phase 3 clinical trials, and is based off of a low sample size.
FOX News is shamelessly touting the success of the vaccine, putting one volunteer front and center to recommend the vaccine for others. Glenn Deshields told FOX:
“I talked to my doctor. He said there’s differences in how this one works, but, in the end, it’s just still a vaccine and people shouldn’t be scared of it,” he concluded.
And this brings us to our concerns. The new vaccine by Pfizer is not a typical vaccine. They are not working with various forms of the virus (live attenuated, inactivated, etc.), but instead they are working with mRNA.
Pfizer is not the first company to work toward an mRNA vaccine. However, if approved, this COVID19 vaccine will be the first of it’s kind to do so.
This is not a typical “antivaxx” argument. If you are interested in my general vaccination concerns you can hear them here.
What is mRNA?
Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is described by the National Institute of Health as:
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a single-stranded RNA molecule that is complementary to one of the DNA strands of a gene. The mRNA is an RNA version of the gene that leaves the cell nucleus and moves to the cytoplasm where proteins are made. During protein synthesis, an organelle called a ribosome moves along the mRNA, reads its base sequence, and uses the genetic code to translate each three-base triplet, or codon, into its corresponding amino acid.
In other words, mRNA is the command given to cells that dictates their functionality.
So what is an mRNA vaccine?
An mRNA vaccine injects a synthetic mRNA to deliver specific commands to the cell. In this instance, related to COVID19, it would target the immune system and give prompts for the development of antibodies.
It is currently being touted as a safe alternative to traditional vaccine developments, even though it remains in theory and has remained as an experimental practice.
What is the concern? Cancer.
To understand the concern of mRNA vaccines and their potential risk of cancer development, you have to look at how cancer starts.
Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells. Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place.
When cancer develops, however, this orderly process breaks down. As cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors.
Given that it is the natural reaction of the human body to reject or fight outside influences, it is apparent a synthetic mRNA code can cause a risk of break down or mutation in the body. Faulty directives from the mRNA can cause faulty cellular function, and this is where the concern for cancer lies.
In fact, the development of synthetic mRNA was to regain control of cancer cells and stop the reproduction process. This makes sense, even with the risk, as it can prolong a life that is already facing a terminal illness. Even chemotherapy has its risks when it comes to causing cancer further down the road.
Would we then use chemotherapy as a method to treat a virus? Does the benefit outweigh the risk? COVID19 maintains a 99% survival rate, and still 95% for the elderly.
Pfizer has their own former chief scientist speaking out challenging the narratives surrounding COVID19, and we will be watching for statements from Dr. Yeadon on the use of an mRNA vaccine.