False: The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is a form of gene therapy.

By: Laura Vitelli
January 10 2023

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False: The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is a form of gene therapy.


The Verdict False

The mRNA vaccines cannot affect DNA. Robert Malone's claims about vaccines have been repeatedly debunked.

Claim ID 6fbf49ab


A post on Facebook is circulating that shares a reposted clip of Dr. Robert Malone, a prominent figure in COVID-19 skeptic narratives, giving a speech in which he makes a series of claims regarding the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. In the video, Malone claims that the COVID-19 vaccine is a form of experimental gene therapy, that the vaccines confer "zero benefits relative to risk," and increase the likelihood of vaccine recipients developing health conditions or injuries. 

In Fact

The clip is drawn from a May 2022 press conference by the "Global Covid Summit" (GCS). In the press conference, speakers and figures associated with the COVID-19 vaccine skeptic movement presented a joint statement calling to "end the national emergency, restore scientific integrity, and address crimes against humanity." These statements are presented with an authoritative tone intended to convey the impression that they are being made by an official organization. 

The claim that the COVID-19 vaccine constitutes a form of gene therapy is false. Gene therapy is designed to permanently alter a patient's DNA to treat a genetic condition. However, the mRNA in the COVID-19 vaccines does not interact with the DNA in the recipients' cell nuclei at all. Instead, the COVID-19 vaccine introduces a tiny piece of mRNA into the patient's cells, which "teaches" the cells to build a copy of the COVID-19 virus' spike protein. The spike protein is the part of the virus that allows it to enter a host's cells. This then triggers an immune response in the patient's body, allowing the patient's own lymphocytes to recognize and fight the virus from that point onward. The mRNA in the vaccine is then broken down by the cell.

This claim, as well as the other claims made in the clip, have been repeatedly debunked by Logically as well as other fact-checking organizations. These claims include, but are not limited to, that the vaccines don't work, that they confer zero benefits relative to their risk, and that vaccinated individuals have a higher risk of developing a heart condition or experiencing serious health complications. 

The impression of authority conveyed by Malone and GCS relies on his repeated assertion that his statements reflect the opinions of thousands of physicians, medical scientists, and researchers across the world. However, there is no way to verify this figure. It also misrepresents the medical consensus on COVID vaccines, which is that they are safe and effective at preventing serious illness and death. The GCS website does not give any details on what type of organization it is, referring to itself on its "about” page as "the product of an international alliance of doctors and scientists, committed to speaking truth to power about Covid pandemic research and treatment." The GCS forum's front page, which is linked to the sidebar, shows that it appears to be owned by Malone himself. 

Malone became a prominent figure in the vaccine skeptic community partly owing to his claims to have invented the mRNA technology used in the COVID-19 vaccines. Though Malone's research on the topic (published in 1989) may have been important, scientific breakthroughs aren't usually attributable to a sole "inventor." Instead, they come about through the work of many. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Malone came to be known for making vaccine-skeptic claims regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and bolstering the anti-vaccine movement. Almost all of these claims have been shown to be false. 


The claims Malone makes regarding the COVID-19 vaccine have been repeatedly debunked. The GCS is not an authoritative medical organization. There is a strong chance that it is owned or headed by Malone himself and therefore cannot be held accountable. We have marked the claim as false. 

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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