The next wave of RNA-based injections is poised to introduce self-amplifying RNA (saRNA), a term that might evoke apprehension as it conjures images of unchecked scientific experiments.
Contrary to mRNA vaccines, which use modified RNA (modRNA), saRNA presents a distinctive feature—it self-replicates, producing a greater amount of viral antigen with a smaller dose.
While both saRNA and modRNA serve as blueprints for viral protein synthesis within our cells, they differ in their composition. ModRNA incorporates synthetic methyl-pseudouridines to maximize antigen production, while saRNA relies on natural uridines due to its self-replicating nature. However, this reliance on natural resources comes at a cost—the cells producing foreign proteins eventually become fatigued.
SaRNA contains an additional replicase sequence, compensating for its inherent instability and ensuring sustained antigen production. This distinctive trait sets saRNA apart from the conventional understanding of mRNA, as natural mRNA does not replicate itself.
SaRNA is positioned as a political solution, promising comparable or enhanced antigen levels in a single shot, potentially addressing the need for yearly adapted boosters. Numerous preclinical and clinical studies on saRNA technology have been conducted, with some viewing it as an improved version of mRNA vaccines.
The dose of viral antigen delivered by RNA-based vaccines varies among individuals, posing challenges related to cell types, genetic predisposition, and medical history. Additionally, the shift from linear to circular saRNA, aimed at enhancing stability, raises concerns about long-lasting antigen presentation, potentially leading to adverse events akin to repeated modRNA boosters.
Repeated modRNA boosters have been associated with immune tolerance, as evidenced by a switch from inflammatory IgG1 antibodies to non-inflammatory IgG4 antibodies. Moreover, recent revelations indicate that RNA-based COVID-19 injections contain contaminating DNA, challenging the classification of these injections as vaccines.
RNA-based technology, especially when applied to healthy individuals, raises ethical concerns, challenging the traditional understanding of vaccines. The emergence of RNA-based vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic marked a departure from the long-standing taboo against manipulating human DNA.
The ongoing development of RNA-based vaccine technology prompts reflection on its alignment with biological principles and ethical considerations. While scientists strive to enhance stability and antigen production, questions persist about directing RNA to specific cell types and halting translation. The COVID-19 experience underscores the importance of open scientific debate and a nuanced approach to public health policies.