Reverse Engineering source code vaccine BioNTech / Pfizer SARS-CoV-2

Now, these words may be somewhat jarring – the vaccine is a liquid that gets injected in your arm. How can we talk about source code?

This is a good question, so let’s start off with a small part of the very source code of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, also known as BNT162b2, also known as Tozinameran also known as Comirnaty.


First 500 characters of the BNT162b2 mRNA. Source: World Health Organization
First 500 characters of the BNT162b2 mRNA. Source: World Health Organization

The BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine has this digital code at its heart. It is 4284 characters long, so it would fit in a bunch of tweets. At the very beginning of the vaccine production process, someone uploaded this code to a DNA printer (yes), which then converted the bytes on disk to actual DNA molecules.


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