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Moderna's dual flu and Covid vaccine produces promising trial results


Moderna's dual flu and Covid vaccine produces promising trial results

Early trials carried out by Moderna have found its combined Covid and flu vaccination is as effective as individual doses, prompting the company to suggest it could be approved in less than two years’ time.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the pharmaceutical company’s chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said the results had convinced it to embark on a late-stage phase 3 trial of the vaccine in adults aged 50 and over later this year.

A randomised study that looked into the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, called mRNA-1083, compared it with the standard dose flu vaccine Fluarix in adults between 50 and 64 and enhanced flu vaccine Fluzone HD in adults between 65 and 79. In both age groups, mRNA-1083 was compared with the Spikevax Covid booster.

Moderna said mRNA-1083 produced a similar or greater immune response to Fluarix and Fluzone HD and a similar immune response to Spikevax. Side-effects were also found to be similar but Moderna said the majority of adverse reactions were “grade one or two in severity.”

It said less than four per cent of participants aged 50 and above suffered more serious adverse reactions but were not hospitalised and “no new safety concerns were identified for mRNA-1083 compared to the standalone vaccines.”

“With today's positive results from our combination vaccine against flu and Covid-19, we continue to expand our phase 3 pipeline," Bancel said.

“Flu and Covid-19 represent a significant seasonal burden for individuals, providers, healthcare systems and economies. Combination vaccines offer an important opportunity to improve consumer and provider experience, increase compliance with public health recommendations, and deliver value for healthcare systems.

“We are excited to move combination respiratory vaccines into Phase 3 development and look forward to partnering with public health officials to address the significant seasonal threat posed to people by these viruses.”

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