We’re closer than ever to flu-COVID combo vaccines

Moderna announced plans on Wednesday to move a novel vaccine design into its final stage of development following positive results from an earlier study. The vaccine is a 2-for-1 deal targeting both flu and COVID-19. The idea is that it will simplify the types of vaccines people get on an annual basis, as well as potentially increase vaccine uptake. Moderna is hoping that its shot, known as mRNA-1083, can earn approval from regulators in 2025.

“Flu and COVID-19 represent a significant seasonal burden for individuals, providers, healthcare systems and economies,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement. “Combination vaccines offer an important opportunity to improve consumer and provider experience, increase compliance with public health recommendations and deliver value for health care systems.”

Other companies are also racing to develop similar flu-COVID combos, including Pfizer and BioNTech, which intend to launch their version in 2024, according to CNBC. The vaccines work by generating an immune response against influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, giving the body the ammunition it needs to fight off an infection in the real world.

Combination vaccines are not an entirely new idea. Many different ones have been developed over the years for a plethora of different conditions, such as MMR vaccines that target measles, mumps and rubella. A flu-COVID vaccine would be a first of its kind, however, offering important protection against respiratory viruses.


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