The page, titled “Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines,” says it was last updated on July 15. But archived versions of the page show that key portions were removed on July 22 or July 23.
The version captured on July 22 includes the claim, “The mRNA and the spike protein do not last long in the body.”
“Our cells break down mRNA from these vaccines and get rid of it within a few days after vaccination,” it says. “Scientists estimate that the spike protein, like other proteins our bodies create, may stay in the body up to a few weeks.”
The following day, the claims were gone.
A CDC spokesperson acknowledged to The Epoch Times that the removal happened, despite the page still saying it has not been updated since July 15.
“CDC routinely reviews our webpage information to ensure we have consistent and up-to-date recommendations. In an effort to make all COVID-19 vaccine webpages consistent, information on the Understanding mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines webpage was adjusted and a portion was removed,” the spokesperson said in an email.
The removal drew criticism from some, including scientist Ray Armat, who first noticed the stealth edit.
In a social media post, he described the alteration as done “in a tacit/underhanded way.”
“The CDC is quietly deleting misleading information from their website,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) added.
Messenger RNA is the technology utilized by both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, the most administered vaccines in the United States and a number of other countries.
The vaccines deliver the mRNA into muscle cells, where the mRNA triggers the production of the spike protein. The spike protein is a component of the virus that causes COVID-19. The spike protein remains on the cell’s surface, which trains the immune system to produce antibodies against the virus.
After that process is finished, the cells break down the mRNA and it leaves the body as waste, according to the CDC.
The agency makes several challenged claims about mRNA vaccines, including alleging the mRNA does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA.
For one, the CDC could not provide any documents supporting that claim, nor several related claims. And some studies have indicated that the mRNA does interact with DNA, including one from Swedish researchers, while others have found the mRNA lingers for weeks after vaccination.
Pfizer has maintained that its vaccine “does not alter the DNA sequence of a human cell” and the CDC spokesperson said the alteration to the webpage “was not a change to the science of how the mRNA vaccines work.”
“The mRNA from these vaccines are broken down by the cells that interpret this coding, and the process takes a few days after vaccination,” the spokesperson said.
Meiling Lee contributed to this report.