The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor, People’s Vaccine Alliance

Nobel Prize winning mRNA was publicly funded

Dr Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

“This award challenges the claim that it was solely big pharmaceutical companies who saved the world from COVID-19. Just like the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Karikó and Weissman’s groundbreaking work on mRNA vaccines received a huge amount public funding.

“Pharmaceutical companies have refused to share mRNA technologies with developers and researchers in developing countries. Fortunately, Weissman is helping a WHO-backed mRNA programme which aims to develop mRNA technology in lower-income countries, even while pharmaceutical companies refuse to share their know-how.

“As governments discuss how to prepare for the next pandemic, they should learn from the story of mRNA. Public funding delivers incredible medical advances and that should be a priority for all countries, but pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted to share technology with the world.”