Messenger RNA: a safe and very effective vaccine weapon against Covid-19

The Academies denounce the false information circulating in part of the public opinion concerning the message RNA vaccinesr. Issued and maintained by a small minority, these untruths are not based on any scientific data but their wide dissemination, especially through social networks, maintains doubt and confusion. They mislead our fellow citizens who legitimately expect reliable data on the vaccination against Covid. This disinformation, amplified by the media and even deceiving some health professionals, has a deleterious role in the dynamics of the national vaccination campaign and favors the development of a fourth epidemic wave fueled by the strong contagiousness of the delta variant.

The Academies wish to recall several points:

  • Scientists and manufacturers have been developing and improving messenger RNA platform technology for more than thirty years, which has proven to be very effective for vaccination against SARS-CoV2. Messenger RNA vaccines induce more than 90% protection against symptomatic forms of Covid-19 and almost total protection against severe forms;
  • These vaccines are remarkably safe; they have been the subject of pharmaceutical development and clinical trials carried out according to best practices for their marketing and were then validated in emergency procedures in the face of the pandemic by the health authorities in Europe and in the USA ;
  • After the injection of billions of doses, the vaccine efficacy and its safety have been largely confirmed by all the epidemiological studies in real life and by pharmacovigilance;
  • Vaccine messenger RNA is degraded rapidly after its translation into vaccine protein and, no more than physiological RNAs, does not integrate into the human genome;
  • Messenger RNA vaccines have the advantage of being able to be produced quickly in large quantities and could be easily modified, if necessary, in the face of possible escape mutations carried by new variants;
  • SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged in very heavily contaminated populations, in countries with the lowest vaccination coverage rates;
  • Many countries do not yet have sufficient vaccines to immunize their populations; when they can, they resort to other vaccines, less expensive and easier to distribute. In the rich countries which, like France, have enough messenger RNA vaccines to immunize their entire population, speeches arousing hesitation, even opposition to vaccination, are no longer acceptable;
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is likely to continue until all of humanity has acquired immunity, either through infection, but with serious consequences, or through vaccines. Only universal vaccination will stop it. The development of new vaccines using messenger RNA is a huge success of science. It provides a very effective weapon without which it is currently impossible to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic. The Academies recommend its rapid extension to the international level as part of a universal vaccination.

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