Hungarian-born biochemist Katalin Karikó, whose decades of work with mRNA technology was instrumental in the development of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, on Tuesday received the Public Media’s Person of the Year Award from public media foundation MTVA’s chief executive, MTVA’s press office said.
The award, founded by public service media operator Duna Mediaszolgaltató and MTVA, is handed out at the end of the year to those whose professional careers have delivered lasting value and who had a significant impact on current events over the last year, the office said in a statement.
MTVA awarded the honour to Karikó last December, who however could not accept it in person due to the pandemic situation.
“With the establishment of the award, the public media’s aim was to present people who are worthy of earning recognition,” the statement quoted MTVA chief executive Daniel Papp as saying. “What Katalin Karikó has developed is something that is
extremely important not only for Hungary, but for the whole world.”
Accepting the award, Karikó expressed high appreciation for the recognition, adding that she was “deeply touched” by letters sent to her by people telling her what the vaccine meant to them.