With the success of COVID-19 vaccines, newly created mRNA vaccines against other infectious diseases are beginning to emerge. Here, we review the structural elements required for designing mRNA vaccine constructs for effective in vitro synthetic transcription reactions. The unprecedently speedy development of mRNA vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was enabled with previous innovations in nucleoside modifications during in vitro transcription and lipid nanoparticle delivery materials of mRNA. Recent updates are briefly described in the status of mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, and other viral pathogens. Unique features of mRNA vaccine platforms and future perspectives are discussed.