In what seems like an inevitable development, scientists Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their role in developing the mRNA technology underlying the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which were rolled out in late 2020.
But in a paper published as recently as 2018 and which is extensively quoted in an article at MedPageToday, none other than Drew Weissman warned that prior clinical trials of mRNA vaccines had produced results which were “more modest in humans than was expected based on animal models… and the side effects were not trivial”, including “moderate and in rare cases severe injection site or systemic reactions”.
Further summarising the paper by Weissman and three colleagues in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, MedPageToday notes:
Their chief safety concerns, which they said should be closely watched in future trials, were about local and systemic inflammation, as well as keeping tabs on the “expressed immunogen” and on any auto-reactive antibodies.
“A possible concern could be that some mRNA-based vaccine platforms induce potent type I interferon responses, which have been associated not only with inflammation but also potentially with autoimmunity,” they wrote. “Thus, identification of individuals at an increased risk of autoimmune reactions before mRNA vaccination may allow reasonable precautions to be taken.”
The authors also noted that extracellular RNA could contribute to edema, and cited a study that showed it “promoted blood coagulation and pathological thrombus formation.”
The MedPageToday article is titled ‘Want to Know More About mRNA Before Your Covid Jab?‘ How many readers actually went ahead and got it after they knew?