By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – With the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 in Colorado, CBSN Denver’s Makenzie O’Keefe spent Monday morning talking with Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida about the vaccine’s development, safety and distribution. Dr. Dave admitted he was among those who had qualms about the vaccine months ago, but now said he really feels confident in how it was developed, how safe it is and how effective it is.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re able to use technology that really was not present 10 years ago,” he explained. “It used to be that when a vaccine would be developed, it would anywhere from five to 15 years in order to use some of the older technologies.”

“Within the last 10 years or so, we’ve had the development of this great new technology which really allows us to develop vaccines very, very quickly. It is basically the equivalent of looking at technology like what’s a Model T Ford and what’s on the space shuttle.”

“We’ve had this new disease come along and fortunately with the new technology, they literally have been able to take the genetic code from coronavirus and plug it into new technology.”

Dr. Dave also explained the vaccine goes through a number of phases of testing where the number of participants is increased as researchers look at age groups and different medical conditions.

The manufacturer analyzes that data and gives it to the Food and Drug Administration to review where it goes through several layers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also makes an independent review of the information before the emergency use authorization is granted.

“I think I can confidently say to everyone that when my turn comes to the vaccine, I will be rolling up my sleeve and taking it without concern and actually be very happy to be protected from COVID.”

Raetta Holdman