Transfer of mRNA, Limit of Provisional Consent
From: Mr M Bell
Dear Ministry of Health,
1. Can the mRNA in the Comirnaty vaccine be transferred from vaccinated individuals to non-vaccinated individuals via physical contact or other means(saliva, body fluids or blood etc)?
2. The provisional consent granted under section 23(1) of the Medicines Act 1981 for Comirnaty allows for the sale or supply for a "limited number of patients". What is that limited number that the Minister has decided on?
From: OIA Requests
Kia ora M Bell
Thank you for your email dated 17 April 2021.
Information in response to each part of your request is outlined below:
“1. Can the mRNA in the Comirnaty vaccine be transferred from vaccinated
individuals to non-vaccinated individuals via physical contact or other
means(saliva, body fluids or blood etc)?”
No. The mRNA vaccine cannot be “spread” as it neither contains the live
virus, nor is it contagious. Comirnaty contains the genetic code for an
important part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the spike protein. After
getting the vaccine, your body makes copies of the spike protein, and your
immune system will learn to recognise and fight against the SARS-CoV-2
virus, which causes COVID-19. Once entering the cell and passing on
instructions to make the spike protein, the mRNA is then destroyed.
Further information on how mRNA vaccines work can be found on Medsafe’s
“2. The provisional consent granted under section 23(1) of the Medicines
Act 1981 for Comirnaty allows for the sale or supply for a "limited number
of patients". What is that limited number that the Minister has decided
I refer you to the Comirnaty data sheet that was approved by Medsafe as
part of the provisional consent process, which you can find on the Medsafe
data sheet provides:
“COMIRNATY has provisional consent (see section 5.1) for the indication
Active immunisation to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused
by SARS-CoV-2, in individuals 16 years of age and older. The use of this
vaccine should be in accordance with official recommendations.”
I trust this information fulfils your request.
Under section 28(3) of the Act you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to
review any decisions made under this request. The Ombudsman may be
contacted by email at: [email address] or by calling 0800 802
OIA Services Team
Ministry of Health information releases
Unite against COVID-19
From: Mr M Bell
Dear OIA Requests,
Thank you for the response.
Regarding the answer to my question number 1 I would like more clarification.
1. What information is this based on?
2. Is this official information provided by the manufacturer?
3. The website you linked to states "Animal studies showed that the mRNA in the Comirnaty vaccine is broken down within a couple of weeks."
How does the Ministry know that mRNA is not transmissible via physical contact in the weeks following vaccination.? If so please provide all of the evidence(scientific studies) that your information is based on.
Mr M Bell