Fact Check

False : The Pfizer and BioNTech modifies the DNA.

Emerald Robinson, White House correspondent for Newsmax, tweeted on November 10 2020 about the new vaccine against Coronavirus developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The journalist, who works for this conservative channel (one of Fox News’s competitors), said that “The use of mRNA technology has never been tested or approved before”. She also claimed that the vaccine causes “DNA damage” and “75% of the volunteers in vaccine trials have undergone side effects”. This is totally false. 



Eleven medical companies have started their human tests for their version of the Coronavirus vaccine. But as the race for the cure seems to end, the hostility against the vaccines seems more powerful. A lot of countries have already announced campaigns. But 46% of French people and 31 % of German people said in a poll that they don’t want to be vaccinated. They justify their choice by the fear of the side effects, the opacity of the development of the cure, and the global efficacy of the vaccine. 

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine have just been authorized by the United Kingdom, which concluded, after months of analysis, that it agreed with the standards. The European Medicines Agency also  announced that they will rule on its commercialization on December 29. 

A new type of vaccine

As a lot of contradictors, Emerald Robinson said that this particular vaccine is dangerous because of its new method. She firstly mentioned in a tweet this : “You need to do some research before you ever agree to take a vaccine for coronavirus. What’s Luciferase? What’s hydrogel? What’s transfection? What’s mRNA? Some of these new vaccines will rewrite your DNA.” 

Contrary to traditional vaccines, discovered by French scientist Louis Pasteur, MRNA’s ones do not contain residues of the virus. They transfer synthetic RNA to cells, and offer the possibility to create antigens that work against viruses. This processus did not affect the entire DNA of a person, or even the cell’s. It only teaches the body how to react against the virus. They do the same thing as the traditional vaccines but in a different way, and in this case more effective. 

Not much of side effects

In her tweet, Emrald Robinson also accused the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine to cause severe side effects on 75% of the poeple who participate in the tests. On its declaration about the vaccine, Pfizer said that “Data demonstrate vaccine was well tolerated across all populations with over 43,000 participants enrolled; no serious safety concerns observed; the only Grade 3 adverse event greater than 2% in frequency was fatigue at 3.8% and headache at 2.0% “. This is a lot less than Emrald Robinson claimed in its tweet. This score is explained by the low amount of adjuvant use in this new type of vaccine. 

But Moderna, another laboratory who announced a vaccin, claims that around 10% of people who took part in the test were touched by fever, tiredness, redness or headaches. The number and the amount of side effects depends on the type of product used. 


In its tweet, Emerald Robinson pointed to the dangerosity of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. According to the studies published by the laboratory (which are led by independent experts ), the side effects of the vaccine seems highly exaggerated by the journalist.

Thibaut Copleux / Simon Adolf