Synthetic mRNAs are an appealing platform with multiple biomedical applications ranging from protein replacement therapy to vaccination. In comparison to conventional mRNA, synthetic self-amplifying mRNAs (sa-mRNAs) are gaining increased interest due to their higher and longer-lasting expression. However, sa-mRNAs also elicit an innate immune response, which may complicate their clinical application. Approaches to reduce the innate immunity of sa-mRNAs have not been studied in detail. Here we investigated in vivo the effect of several innate immune inhibitors and a novel cellulose-based mRNA purification approach on the type I interferon (IFN) response, translation and vaccination efficacy of our formerly developed sa-mRNA vaccine against Zika virus. Among the investigated inhibitors, we found that corticosteroids and especially topical application of clobetasol at the sa-mRNA injection site was the most efficient in suppressing the type I IFN response and increasing the translation of sa-mRNA. However, clobetasol prevented the formation of antibodies against sa-mRNA encoded antigens and should therefore be avoided in a vaccination context. Residual dsRNA by-products of the in vitro transcription reaction are known inducers of immediate type I IFN responses. We additionally demonstrate drastic reduction of these dsRNA by-products upon cellulose-based purification, consequently reducing the innate immune response and improving sa-mRNA vaccination efficacy.