What you need to know about mRNA vaccines

Dr. Jen Ashton has the facts and dispels myths about this new technology.
2:24 | 12/31/20

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Transcript for What you need to know about mRNA vaccines
Of course, we're all so happy to have our ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton with us as always to lead us into this new year. A new year with some of the same struggles, but some new hope. You've helped us through this year like you wouldn't believe, Dr. Ashton. Thank you so much. We'll start here now. We hear about mrna technology. We've been talking about it a lot. What are we talking about? Let's do a deep dive on this. There's a lot of myths and misconceptions. We'lbreak it down. This technology has been studied for about three decades. However, there has never been now been an mrna vaccine. That's the new part it. What is mrna? It's like a USB port. It's giving your body instructions to mount an immune response. There are advantages. In terms of vaccine manufacturing, this is technology that allows it to be scaled and manufactured very, very quickly. It does not contain any part of the virus in terms of live. It's not weakened, inactive. It cannot make you sick with covid-19. The theory and some early evidence suggests it produces a stronger immune response versus other vaccine methods like we typically see for example with the influenza vaccine. Jen, I know you're always ready to dismantle misinformation and myths out there. There's some myths that these mrna vaccines alter our DNA in some way. Is that possible? Is it correct? It's not correct. It's not possible. A lot of that comes from the fact that people heard of DNA. This is the cousin, rna and mrna. Just brfly, again, I mentioned the USB port. It gives you body a recipe so when mrna is absorbed into the cell it doesn't go near the DNA, doesn't go into the nucleus. It's makes a protein, spike protein we've heard so much about with this coronavirus. Once your body makes that, it can generate antibodies and kick in the immune response we see as with other vaccines. Cannot alter our DNA. We'll be following this long term because it's new technology. We know you will. Dr. Jen, thank you. We turn to the hunger crisis

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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