Fact Check-COVID-19 vaccines do not take away the human rights of recipients

A Facebook post has claimed that COVID-19 vaccines take away the human rights of recipients by turning them into genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is false.

The claim was included in a 593-word update, which the author urged others to share. It says: “If you have consented to the “experimental jab”, it has now integrated into your chromosomes, and you are now not classed as human, you are now legally classed as a “Genetically Modified Organism”. G.M.O’s require a license to travel or move about...that licence comes in the form of the Covid slave passport.

“As a "product" instead of a "human being"…you have now consented to all of your "human rights" being permanently removed.” (here , reposted here).

The post is an extension of similar theories circulating online that claim vaccines for the novel coronavirus turn humans into GMOs, which are defined by the World Health Organisation as ‘organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally’ (here).

There is no evidence to support these false claims. The confusion likely stems from misunderstanding of the science used in the COVID-19 jabs.

Firstly, the new mRNA technology in the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines has concerned some social media users. In contrast to “conventional” vaccines that use a whole pathogen or fragment (here), mRNA vaccines involve the injection of a small part of the virus’s genetic code (messenger Ribonucleic Acid, shortened to mRNA) to stimulate immune response in a patient without an infection (here).

“It’s not hugely different from how traditional vaccines work. But instead of injecting a weakened live or killed virus, the mRNA approach trains your immune system directly with a single protein”, wrote Mark Lynas (here) in an article for the Cornell Alliance for Science in Dec. 2020 (here).

He added: “Contrary to assertions made by opponents, it won’t turn you or anyone else into a GMO…It does not enter the (cell) nucleus and cannot interact with your DNA or cause any changes to the genome (here)”.

In an explainer about COVID-19 vaccines, Oxford University’s Vaccine Knowledge Project rebukes misinformation about mRNA with equal force: “there is no way for human DNA to be altered by an mRNA vaccine.” (here).

Secondly, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine also uses new technology called ‘viral vector’. This does involve a GMO, but it certainly does not turn the recipient into one.

Viral vector vaccines use an adenovirus, a type of pathogen that causes a common cold, to serve as the vehicle to get the genetic sequence into your cells. To do this, scientists splice in the same spike protein genetic sequence from the coronavirus (here).

This process modifies the adenovirus, meaning it is a GMO (here).

“So yes, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine does actually mean a genetically engineered virus is injected into your body”, says Lynas.

“And that’s a good thing. In the past, for example with the polio vaccine, live viruses in the vaccine can sometimes mutate and revert to being pathogenic, causing vaccine derived polio (here). You can see it’s far better to use a GM virus that cannot cause any such harm!”

This is because the adenovirus, acting as a viral vector, has been modified to prevent it replicating inside the body, causing disease or even integrating with human DNA (here).

The technologies used in coronavirus vaccines therefore do not alter human DNA or turn people into GMOs. Referring to the original false claim, this also means COVID-19 vaccines do not remove the recipient’s human rights.


False. COVID-19 vaccines do not take away recipients’ human rights by turning them into genetically modified organisms.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here  .