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.”

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, Heads of States, faith leaders and activists, working together towards equitable access to medical technologies that help to prevent and respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics.