Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman win the 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine

The Swedish Academy awarded the prize to the two scientists for the work they did to create "effective mRNA vaccines against covid-19."

The Swedish Academy has announced the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. This year, the award goes to Hungarian scientist Katalin Karikó as well as American immunologist Drew Weissman.

Considered the fathers of the coronavirus vaccine, it was announced that  Weissman and Karikó would be awarded the prize by Thomas Perlmann, secretary general of the Nobel Assembly, during a press conference.

Awarded for COVID-19 vaccines

The Swedish Academy granted them the award "for their discoveries on nucleoside base modifications that allowed the development of effective mRNA vaccines against covid-19." The jury in charge of deciding who will receive the award also highlighted this in a statement:

The discoveries of the two Nobel laureates were instrumental in developing effective mRNA vaccines against covid-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020. Through their groundbreaking discoveries, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the awardees contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine is worth 10 million Swedish kronor (approximately $1 million). This was the first of the awards to be announced. This is followed by the announcements of the Nobel Prize in Physics (Tuesday, Oct. 3), Chemistry (Wednesday, Oct. 4), Literature (Thursday, Oct. 5) and Peace Prize, which will be announced on Friday, Oct. 6.