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VERIFY: No, mRNA technology in Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines is not new or experimental

Doctors in Maine say that is one of the most common pieces of misinformation they hear about the coronavirus vaccines and boosters.

PORTLAND, Maine — Doctors in Maine said one of the most common pieces of misinformation they hear about the COVID-19 vaccines is that the mRNA technology in the Pfizer and Moderna shots is "new" or "experimental."

THE QUESTION

  1. Is the mRNA technology in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines new?
  2. Are the COVID-19 vaccines experimental?

THE SOURCES

  • Dr. James Jarvis, senior physician executive, Northern Light Health
  • Dr. Steve Diaz, chief medical officer, MaineGeneral Health
  • Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah
  • The U.S. CDC

THE ANSWER

This is false.

   

WHAT WE FOUND

As for the mRNA technology being new, all three doctors and the U.S. CDC said that technology has been in use since the 1970s.

"It's not brand-spanking new. It's been well-tested for decades," Dr. Diaz said.

"It has been used in other applications before. It was just 'new' meaning that we didn't have this virus before, so it was created for this particular virus," Dr. Jarvis said.

According to the U.S. CDC, the mRNA vaccines do not contain any live virus... and cannot cause someone to get sick with COVID.

Messenger RNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies.

Our cells break down mRNA and get rid of it within a few days after vaccination.

As for the vaccines being "experimental," the U.S. FDA and CDC both said the companies' data were highly scrutinized and that the shots were required to undergo the same testing, trials, and analysis before getting emergency use authorization.

"Emergency use authorization does not allow any step to be skipped, not fulfilled. It is the same process as with anything else," said Dr. Diaz. "It's gone through all the appropriate steps to verify that it works, that it has a safety profile that is can be said all the things that other medications and vaccines go through, no differently than we do not call experimental so no it's not experimental it's not brand spanking new. The scale is. And it's not experimental."

"It's gone through all the appropriate steps to verify that it works, that it has a safety profile. All the things that other medications, vaccines go through, no differently than we do not call experimental, so no it's not experimental," Diaz said. "It's not brand spanking new, the scale is."

"It's not experimental and as we have talked about you know the technology that used were utilized to create at least the two messenger RNA vaccines to Pfizer and the Moderna is not new, it's been around for decades," Jarvis said.

Watch the full interview with Diaz below:

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