The 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to two scientists for their "groundbreaking findings" relating to mRNA vaccines. The Nobel Prize committee made the announcement Monday morning.
Despite widespread controversy surrounding the COVID-19 injections, including a multitude of questions surrounding their safety and efficacy, the Nobel committee praised the scientists for how they “fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system.”
The Nobel committee further stated that the scientists "contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times."
Although mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were originally advertised as a tool to stop the transmission of the virus in its tracks, this turned out not to be the case. The jabs were then touted predominantly as a critical way to "prevent serious illness or death."
Describing the first two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to be approved, the Nobel committee claimed that "protective effects of around 95% were reported."
However, with ever-evolving variants such as Omicron, the vaccines' effectiveness appeared to decrease throughout the pandemic as new "booster" doses became required.
Regarding the Omicron subvariants, a 2023 study from the New England Journal of Medicine established that "bivalent vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna" were "58.7% effective against hospitalization." The same study noted that the monovalent vaccines that preceded them were only 25% effective against hospitalization.
The safety of the mRNA vaccines has also been called into question, with thousands of individuals reporting adverse events following their COVID-19 injection.
Despite these safety and efficacy concerns, the Nobel committee further praised the research of the scientists for "allowing societies to open and return to normal conditions."