Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jeanie McHugo


Vaccine; mRNA; COVID-19; Efficacy; Side effects


This project will serve to analyze the mechanism, efficacy, and adverse effects of mRNA technology in detail while also comparing it with a previous recombinant Influenza vaccine trial. In this systematic literature review, three library data bases were searched including Pub Med, Clinical Key, and Ebsco Megafile. Search criteria included the key terms: mRNA vaccines, vaccines, and COVID-19. Additional phrases used included: mechanism, history, and efficacy. Each key word was entered as it appears in the databases with additional phrases used to narrow down the research. The search was limited to the last five years to ensure up to date information. The literature review yielded a total of 1,100 results which were further refined with the additional terminology used above. Articles were reviewed for bias, pertinence to the topic, and credibility. Exclusion criteria included: surveys, online newspapers, magazine articles, periodicals and systematic reviews or peer reviewed journal articles published before 2016. For this review 21 sources were chosen. Overall, research suggests that mRNA vaccine technology has a variety of benefits including ease of development, ability to code for multiple viral strains, increased efficacy rates compared to previous technology, and decreased rates of adverse reactions in vaccine recipients. It should be noted, that while this research does show many benefits of mRNA vaccine technology, more research should be conducted to evaluate long term efficacy and side effects of mRNA vaccines.