Nobel Prize Honors Scientists Behind mRNA Vaccines Against Covid-19

Zinger Key Points
  • Nobel Prize awarded to Kariko and Weissman for mRNA vaccine innovations.
  • Their work transformed Covid-19 vaccine development by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
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The Nobel Assembly has awarded two scientists with the Nobel Prize in medicine for their pioneering work in the development of messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccines against Covid-19.

The research of Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman paved the way for companies like Moderna Inc. MRNA and the Pfizer Inc. PFE – BioNTech SE BNTX partnership to rapidly develop mRNA-based vaccines. These vaccines have played a pivotal role in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, administering doses to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

The Impact of Their Contributions

The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm recognized the significance of Kariko and Weissman’s research, stating that their findings “contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times.” Their contributions have not only saved lives but have also shifted the paradigm of vaccine development.

Read also: Moderna Talks Offer Hope for Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Availability In Europe

As Bloomberg reported Monday, their work fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system. Instead of using weakened or dead viruses, mRNA instructs cells to produce the necessary components for a vaccine. This novel approach allowed for the swift development of Covid-19 vaccines in under 11 months, a remarkable feat in medical history.

Latest Insights On Covid-19

Amid this scientific celebration, the battle against Covid-19 continues. Recent survey data from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) reveals a surprising trend. Only 22% of U.S. adults express concern about influenza (flu) or Covid-19 infections, with even lower levels of worry regarding respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) at 19%.

Despite updated recommendations for Covid-19 vaccination, only 40% of respondents plan to receive the booster shot. Challenges in accessing prompt health insurance coverage for these shots further contribute to vaccine hesitancy.

Impact On Biotech Stocks

Shares of Moderna Inc. have experienced a 43% decline year-to-date, currently trading at $103 per share. This decline has erased a significant portion of post-vaccine gains, as Moderna traded at about $70 per share when the vaccine was announced in November 2020.

Similarly, competitor Pfizer Inc. has seen a 35% decrease in its shares year-to-date, trading at $33 per share, below its value compared to Nov. 9, 2020.

Now read: US Households Have Depleted Their Pandemic Savings: Study Highlights Risk Of Economic Downturn

This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo: Shutterstock.

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