A viral outbreak that results in a pandemic requires rapid vaccine development. Messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccines are prepared using a new technology that is based partly on genetic techniques. After the genome of a new virus has been sequenced, this method makes it possible to quickly produce an effective vaccine. By now, two mRNA vaccines have been granted preliminary market authorisation and are available to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The short development time and rapid production of mRNA vaccines are major advantages in an outbreak and pandemic.
- The first two mRNA vaccines effectively reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, and their adverse effects are mild.
- One disadvantage is the need to store these two vaccines at very low temperatures.
- Many questions remain unanswered, such as whether there are long-term adverse effects, whether inoculated persons remain infectious, how long the protective effect lasts, their efficacy after a single injection, whether the various vaccines are interchangeable, their suitability for specific target groups, and how effective they are against mutations of SARS-CoV-2.
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