Infographic: The History of mRNA vaccines
Vaccines tested, approved and distributed
The history of mRNA Vaccines
Today’s success with mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 comes from the decades of research that came before it.
2010s: Smarts and spikes
After outbreaks of other coronaviruses in 2003 (SARS) and 2012 (MERS), scientists study how the “spike protein” works and how it could be used in vaccines.
2000s: And we’re off!
In 2005, scientists figure out how to make synthetic RNA safe for injection into cells. Research in the field accelerates.
1990s: Failing forward
Could synthetic forms of RNA be used in medicine? The potential seems endless, but so do the challenges. Failed experiments still build knowledge.
1980s: Love those lipids
Researchers study the nature of lipids, which lays the groundwork for using lipid nanoparticles in mRNA vaccines many decades later.
For more information about this history, visit The long road the mRNA vaccines.
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