Pfizer is asking the Food and Drug Administration, to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.
It’s a type of vaccine, unlike any other that the FDA’s approved.
Pfizer and Moderna have both produced COVID-19 vaccines using Messenger RNA, or mRNA.
Other vaccines use real virus particles. But mRNA vaccines use proteins that act as codes, telling the body to watch out for intruders.
At Oregon State University, Dr. Gaurav Sahay with the School of Pharmacy researches mRNA vaccines.
He tells news partner KGW people should be confident in their safety even though the vaccines have been developed quickly.
“Safety is not being compromised. Yes, long term effects and things like that it always takes a couple of years to follow up with those patients. But it’s not as if a step was missed. I would be very excited to get it,” says Dr. Sahay.
This type of vaccines has never received FDA approval. But some doctors
believe mRNA vaccines could be safer than traditional vaccines. That’s because mRNA vaccines, do not contain the actual virus that causes disease in humans. Traditional vaccines do, and so they carry more risk.
The mRNA vaccines do have some downsides. They require two doses spaced several weeks apart, and need to be kept at sub freezing temperatures.
But scientists hope this new technology, will help them find breakthrough treatments for other diseases, including cancer.