Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines will not change the recipient’s DNA; frontline workers suffered directly from the virus

A report making a series of false allegations about the new coronavirus pandemic has spread online. The message of 1060 words, copied by various reports, contains a mixture of misinformation, opinions and claims suggesting conspiracy theories.

Reuters fact check. REUTERS

Examples of the post can be seen here and here. This article deals only with the primary claims.


The report claims: “Everyone who is considering taking this vaccine … Do you realize that it changes your DNA permanently and irreversibly?” This is false. Several COVID-19 vaccines use new technology, but this will not alter DNA. A ‘conventional’ live vaccine contains an attenuated version of the live virus or bacteria, which enables the body to develop immunity (here).

Some of the vaccines for the new coronavirus are called RNA or mRNA vaccines, because they involve the injection of a small portion of the virus’ genetic code (RNA) to stimulate the immune response in a patient without an infection ( here).

Reuters explained earlier why these new vaccines will not alter the recipient’s DNA (here).

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has further information (here). It says: “mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it can not combine with our DNA to change our genetic code”.

“GPS does not die”

The report further states: ‘If you still think that Covid is really and very dangerous, then you are asking the following questions: Why not isolate GPs? die? ”

The British general practitioners were directly affected by the virus. Common practices changed the way of working in March to reduce the risk to doctors and patients. The medical journal GPonline reported in November that Matt Hancock, health secretary, told MPs that 45% of appointments for general practitioners were delivered remotely, while the Royal Collee of General Practitioners reported that research showed that about two-thirds of the patient contacts with GPs in the week beginning November 9th. was via telephone or video consultation (here).

Despite these efforts, GPonline reported in April that an estimated 2,000 GPs had isolated themselves from each other due to COVID-19 (here). In October, the publication reported that more than three out of five GPs said they or a colleague had been forced to isolate themselves (here) within the past two weeks (here).

Coronavirus also killed several GPs. Welsh doctor David Wood has become the 13th GP to die after contracting COVID-19 in September, according to GPonline (here) and the publication Pulse (here).

The British Medical Journal has published a memorial to British doctors in various professions who died at COVID-19 www.bmj.com/covid-memorial.


The post still asks: “Why are the frontline staff not isolating? die? Why not isolate police officers? die? Why are bus drivers not apart? die? ”

Once again, individuals working in these occupations are affected. Doctors’ Association UK highlighted the suffering of frontline NHS workers during the pandemic in an article with the New York Times and wrote on December 17 that 650 health workers had died (here).

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which looks at the period from March to May, found that among health professionals – including occupations such as doctors, nurses and midwives, nursing assistants, paramedics and ambulance staff and hospital porters – men had a statistically significant higher mortality rate of COVID-19 compared to the mortality rate of COVID-19 in the general working population. Healthcare workers continue to suffer, while an emergency nurse passed away on December 15 (here) in Essex.

Police officers were also affected. US data for England and Wales published in June showed the deaths of 15 male officers and one senior female officer under 65 between COVID-19 between 9 March and 25 May (here, Table 8). The figures were worse for those over 65: the deaths of four senior police officers, 36 officers and one community support officer involved in COVID-19 in the same period (Table 9).

The same data showed that the deaths of 53 male bus drivers and one female bus driver between the ages of 20 and 65 in this period were recorded as COVID (Table 8), along with 62 male and two female bus drivers older than 65 (Table 9).

The media also highlighted individual cases (here, here) and called for a public inquiry (here).


The report asks: “Why are most hospitals empty? Why are test centers empty? ”

In short, UK hospitals and testing centers are not empty. Hospital admissions for COVID-19 rose 19% in the week ending December 13, according to government data (coronavirus.data.gov.uk/).

Areas of hospitals may appear empty because some health services are remote or reduced to prioritize critical care units. According to the Nuffield Trust (here), hospitals were asked in March to postpone all non-urgent surgeries to release the capacity for coronavirus patients. Procedures resumed in May, but on December 17, Sky News reported that UK hospitals had resumed canceling non-urgent operations due to the rising COVID-19 cases (here).

UK government data shows that more than 2 million coronavirus tests have been performed in the last seven days (coronavirus.data.gov.uk/). People can visit a test site or order a home test kit (here).


The report reads: “Why are 96% of the people who test positive, mask wearers? Why does bacterial pneumonia increase as a result of the mask? Yet it is kept quiet. ”

The first claim may be related to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which found that 85% of people in a study that tested positive for COVID-19 reported that they always or often wear a mask.

However, the study also found that 88.7% of people who reported wearing a mask did not contract the virus. Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, told Reuters in October: “wearing a mask is meant to protect other people in case the mask wearer is infected, rather than the wearer.” Overall, the study reported that more infected people were in places where masks could not be worn effectively, such as restaurants and bars here.

The UK government website says: “Covering a face can reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances and help protect others.” (here)

Regarding the second point, there is no evidence that face masks increase the risk of pneumonia. Reuters had earlier made similar claims (here).


Untrue. Vaccinations for COVID-19 will not alter the recipient’s DNA, scientists explained. Deaths related to the virus have been reported among GPs, NHS staff, police officers and bus drivers. UK hospitals are not empty, data shows. There is no evidence that wearing face masks causes bacterial pneumonia.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to actually check social media posts.