Did the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) admit in a series of email exchanges that COVID-19 is man-made and that COVID vaccines were created with computer-generated DNA? No, that's not true: The MHRA told Lead Stories that the correspondence cited in a claim did take place, but the assertions made from those emails aren't correct.
The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by The Exposé on October 30, 2022, under the title "BREAKING - UK Medicine Regulator confirms COVID-19 is Man-made & the Vaccines were created using Computer Generated DNA." It opened:
1. The DNA template used does not come directly from an isolated virus from an infected person
2. The DNA template (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 GenBank 908947.3), was generated via a combination of gene synthesis and recombinant DNA technology.
This is what the post looked like on The Exposé website at the time of writing:
(Source: The Exposé screenshot taken on Thu Nov 3 18:21:11 2022 UTC)
The "recently discovered" emails with the MHRA are from November and December 2020 and were nearly 2 years old when The Exposé article was written. They were included in a blog posted to the Hive social network by Frances Leader, who identifies as a "Citizen Journalist, Rights Campaigner." Leader's blog entry is also 2 years old.
In a November 9, 2022, email, an MHRA spokesperson told Lead Stories that the "email exchange itself is genuine," but the conclusions in the blog and The Exposé article aren't correct and lack context. The agency addressed the two main assertions included in the article below:
Does the email exchange confirm that COVID-19 is man-made?
No. The fact that the nucleotide sequence is designed by vaccine experts and is a synthetic product does not in any way confirm that COVID-19 is 'man-made' or artificially created.
In order to create vaccines to counter the virus, scientists need to understand the genetic make-up of the virus. Part of that is understanding the genomic sequence of the viral proteins. It is also important to note that the full nucleotide sequence of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (BNT162b2) is available in the public domain where it is open to independent scrutiny. The mRNA sequence used in the vaccine is also described in detail in the public assessment report.
Does the email exchange confirm that the Pfizer vaccine is computer-generated?
It does not confirm that the Pfizer vaccine is computer generated. In fact, it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of genomic sequencing in general, as per our answer above.
The U.K. National Health Service says COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They're recommended for everyone aged 5 and over.
Additional Lead Stories fact checks related to COVID-19 vaccines can be found here.