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The mRNA Covid vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna contain billions of particles of self-replicating DNA that may turn human cells into long-term factories for the COVID-19 spike protein, a study has found.

The result is thought to shed light on the persistence of vaccine spike protein and mRNA in the body for months following inoculation, a worrying phenomenon which has not so far been fully explained - though earlier experiments also found evidence the vaccine mRNA may be reverse-transcribed into the cell DNA.

Persistence of spike protein is believed by experts to be a contributor to adverse effects of the COVID-19 vaccines by inducing auto-immune attacks on the heart and other organs, among other mechanisms.

The discovery was made in the first deep sequencing of the mRNA products, carried out by Dr. Kevin McKernan of Medicinal Genomics and his team.

The researchers found that the vaccines were contaminated with significant quantities of biological agents known as plasmids. Plasmids are small circular DNA molecules that can replicate in bacteria, including bacteria found inside humans - and also in human cells when the plasmids are suitably modified to be used as a genetic engineering or gene expression vehicle, as in this case. The vectors found in the mRNA shots contain the DNA that codes for the mRNA that produces the spike protein. A cell that has taken in these plasmids may be able to produce the spike protein indefinitely.

The Moderna vaccine was found to contain one plasmid per 3,000 mRNA molecules while the contamination in the Pfizer vaccine was 10 times higher at one plasmid per 350 mRNA molecules. The 'safe' level for such double-stranded DNA contaminants is set by the European Medicines Agency as the equivalent of one part per 3,000 mRNA molecules - though the researchers note that it's "not clear how they set these standards" or whether they "had considered contaminating DNA that was capable of amplifying inside the host".

Moderna meets this 'safe' threshold but Pfizer is over it by a factor of 10. The researchers add that in either case it "equates to billions of antibiotic resistant plasmids injected per person per shot". That's before they replicate: "Billions of these contaminants per injection is likely an underestimate of the entire burden as these plasmids can self-replicate in bacterial hosts."

The researchers express concern that the plasmids also confer resistance to the antibiotics neomycin and kanamycin on any bacteria that take them up, and worry that this may "transform the gut microbiome" of a human host.

The spike-manufacturing plasmids are an integral part of the vaccine manufacturing process, providing the blueprint for the mRNA, but why they continue to contaminate the vaccines at such high levels and have not been more fully removed is unclear.

Dr. Anthony Brookes, Professor of Genomics and Health Data Science at the University of Leicester, told the Daily Sceptic: "This is a solid piece of research by a very knowledgeable team."

He added:
The DNA vector molecules from which the mRNA is created ('transcribed') is a stable entity, and it is shown to be present at non-trivial levels in the vaccines. It will therefore presumably get into bacteria and human cells throughout the injected person, to be potentially transcribed into mRNA and cause long-term expression of spike protein.

We must hope that vector-carrying, spike-expressing cells are progressively eliminated by the immune system, but if tolerance is created by long-term exposure to the toxic spike protein then this removal may not be very efficient. In this worst-case but feasible scenario, a residue of spike producing cells may exist for months or years - slowly and steadily damaging many organs and tissues in the vaccinated individual. Treatments that help to eliminate or negate the action of the spike protein need to be established, and fortunately various candidate interventions are now being reported.
Governments that have approved and mandated these products should make a priority of replicating these worrying findings and fully investigating their implications.