Should we worry about long term effects from mRNA Covid-19 vaccines?

Today’s Medium article discusses the term “long term effects” bandied by those who brand some sorts of pseudoscientific beliefs whilst not understanding this term from a scientific basis. I hope this article today allays any scepticism (absolutely understandable) about long term effect claims branded around on social media and the internet.

➡ Science basis on “long-term effects”
What this term actually refers to in the scientific department would be rare side effects and not long term effects, this is where the general consensus of misunderstanding comes from.

➡ Vaccine components
RNA without a saline buffer would degrade within minutes, mRNA has this same structure of being very volatile to degrading rapidly if nothing is supported to hold it’s structure in place. mRNA within human cells (not inside the nucleus) has an estimated half-life in human cells for about 10 hours (Bernstein et al. 2002; Wang et al. 2002) (Direct source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC403777/)

Infographic to detail this more easily

Vaccines are just designed to deliver a payload of information to train your immune system to fight off a foreign pathogen and then are quickly eliminated by the body. The cell breaks down and gets rid of the mRNA soon after it’s finished using the instructions. The mRNA lasts about on average for about 72 hours before it’s degraded by the body.

The spike protein lasts up to about 2 weeks within the body, thus the body also recognises the S-Protein as foreign also degrading this as well, the S-Protein is not dangerous, unlike the virus counterpart which is, the S-Protein from the vaccine has been genetically altered in a lab so the immune system can seek out future Covid-19 virus S-Protein from natural infection and eliminate the problem. (Source: https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/where-mrna-vaccines-and-spike-proteins-go)

The lipids in the Pfizer vaccine for example has a half-life of 6–8 days. See page 17 on this link. (Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/997584/COVID-19_mRNA_Vaccine_BNT162b2__UKPAR___PFIZER_BIONTECH_ext_of_indication_11.6.2021.pdf)

➡ What does half-life mean?
What is half-life? Half-life is the time it takes for half of the unstable nuclei in a sample to decay or for the activity of the sample to halve or for the count rate to halve. (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z3tb8mn/revision/3)

➡ When should all vaccine side effects show up?
A quote taken from UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) states: “In virtually all cases, vaccine side effects are seen within the first two months after rollout.” (Source: https://www.uab.edu/news/health/item/12143-three-things-to-know-about-the-long-term-side-effects-of-covid-vaccines)

The best about the Covid-19 related vaccines is they use no part of a live virus as a component, thus cannot be a danger to humans, (yes even the spike protein, and no it doesn’t shed to other people either).

Paul Goepfert, director of the Alabama Vaccine Research Clinic at UAB stated the following: “In short, there are no vaccines that cause long term effects that did not show up within the first month after the final dose. This will almost assuredly include COVID vaccines as well”. (Source: https://www.mlive.com/news/2021/08/what-are-the-long-term-side-effects-of-the-covid-vaccines.html)

Conclusion to the above would be that we would see ALL side effects of Covid-19 related vaccines within the first 2 months post-vaccination, this also includes rare side effects as well.

➡ mRNA research and technology
mRNA and mRNA vaccine have been researched for decades, an August 1996 report demonstrates the efficacy of mRNA DC vaccines, (Source: https://rupress.org/jem/article-pdf/184/2/465/1108621/465.pdf) 2004 paper on mRNA based vaccines. (Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8440239_Messenger_RNA-based_vaccines)

Then we have the treasure trove of information here regarding the mRNA vaccine, please see the Reference section on this source citation for further information. (Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168365915300535)

A citation (see source) about the entire history of mRNA dates as far back as 1961 when it was discovered by Brenner and colleagues. (Source: https://the-dna-universe.com/2021/04/15/the-history-of-mrna-applications/)

A link from the CDC goes into great detail about the understanding of mRNA Covid vaccines and how they work. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html)

➡ Are the vaccines monitored for side effects?
Of course, they are. There is a robust monitoring system just in case. The USA has one such system to watch over these side effects. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/ensuringsafety/monitoring/index.html)

➡ Conclusion
The components don’t stick around long enough to cause long-term effects. We are talking about a one-time event of 0.5 mL. 10 to 14 days is the average for most of the ingredients to have been degraded (excluding the S-protein, which is harmless). This is also why a vaccine can not cause adverse reactions months or years later. It’s not in your system any longer. Antibodies from vaccination are robust and persistent through a duration of 6 months. (Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmc2103916)

💥 Thanks for reading, Lawrence. Please consider a small contribution, in the form of a beer as all articles are created in my small amount of spare time: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/LawrenceRob

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Passionate about evidence-based scientific information and tackling falsehoods that thrive on social media.

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Lawrence Robinson

Lawrence Robinson

Passionate about evidence-based scientific information and tackling falsehoods that thrive on social media.

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