File Photo: Japan Prize 2022 Laureates Hungarian-American biochemist Katalin Kariko (L) and American physician-scientist Drew Weissman pose with their trophy during the Japan Prize presentation ceremony in Tokyo on April 13, 2022. AFP
The pair, who had been tipped as favourites, were honoured for "for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19," the jury said.
"The laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times," it added.
The pair will receive their prize, consisting of a diploma, a gold medal and a $1 million cheque, from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.
Last year, the Medicine Prize went to Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo, who sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal and discovered the previously unknown hominin Denisova.
The Nobel season continues this week with the announcement of the winners of the Physics Prize on Tuesday and the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday.
They will be followed by the much-anticipated prizes for Literature on Thursday and Peace on Friday.
The Economics Prize winds things up on Monday, October 9.