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COVID-19 vaccines don’t alter DNA, and their side effects are not transmissible, experts said.
An Instagram video made an unsubstantiated claim about women vaccinated against COVID-19.
"I would not marry a woman who got the COVID-19 vaccine because there’s unknown side effects that could perpetually go down through the lineage," says the man in the video, posted Aug. 25. "Like, part of me being a man is being able to bring to the table the ability to produce offspring that then carry my name, my DNA, my lineage forward."
Epidemiologist Cindy Prins, a population health sciences professor at the University of Central Florida, said there is "no perpetual effect of COVID-19 vaccines on heredity. The vaccine does not make genetic changes to the egg or sperm that could be passed down to future generations."
Prins and Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said the vaccines protect pregnant women against the coronavirus. The experts said the women’s bodies, in turn, will make antibodies that can also protect their newborn children.
The experts also said vaccine side effects can’t be passed from mother to child.
Side effects "are not transmitted from one generation to another," said Richard Watanabe, a University of Southern California professor of preventive medicine.
Prins said vaccine side effects "can't have genetic repercussions or create inherited changes." And, she added, "those side effects won't create any changes in the body that can be passed down to children or grandchildren."
We rate the claim that women vaccinated against COVID-19 face "unknown side effects that could perpetually go down through the lineage" to their children False.
Instagram, post, Aug. 26, 2023
PolitiFact, "Joe Rogan falsely says mRNA vaccines are ‘gene therapy,’" Aug. 31, 2021
PolitiFact, "No, COVID-19 vaccines won’t alter your DNA and control you," Nov. 18, 2020
Email, epidemiologist Cindy Prins, population health sciences professor at the University of Central Florida, Aug. 29, 2023
Email, Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Aug. 29, 2023
Email, Richard Watanabe, professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, Aug. 29, 2023
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