Moderna develops vaccines against both Covid-19 and flu

Moderna pharmaceutical company announced that it is developing a vaccine that combines a booster shot against Covid-19 and protects against four strains of influenza.

“Today, we announce the first step in a new respiratory disease vaccine program with the development of a single-dose vaccine that combines a booster dose against Covid-19 with a booster dose against influenza,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO of American pharmaceutical company Moderna, issued a statement on September 9 said.

Preclinical data published by Moderna shows that the pharmaceutical company has successfully combined messenger RNAs (mRNAs) against nCoV, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and 4 strains of influenza with a single injection. These combination vaccines are about to be deployed in clinical trials. One of them is the mRNA-1073 vaccine that combines the current Covid-19 vaccine with the flu shot.

“We believe a huge opportunity lies ahead, if we can bring to market a booster vaccine that is effective every year for respiratory diseases,” Bancel said. believes that Moderna will be the first pharmaceutical company to access this important new opportunity.

Moderna is in clinical trials with the RSV vaccine in the elderly. The pharmaceutical company is also developing several flu vaccines.

Two bottles of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Connecticut, USA in April. Photo: AFP.

Two vials of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Connecticut, USA in April. Photo: AFP.

The news that Moderna could start clinical trials of the combination vaccine in the next 6-12 months is a positive surprise for investors, said Hartaj Singh, an analyst at investment bank Oppenheimer & Co.

“The question is, after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, how much will total vaccine sales increase and how far Moderna can expand that market,” Singh said.

mRNA technology will allow companies to produce vaccines against everything from infectious diseases to heart disease and even cancer.

The Covid-19 vaccine was developed based on mRNA technology covered by a lipid (fat) nanolayer of cells. When a vaccine is given, the body uses the instructions in the vaccine’s mRNA to make mutant proteins. This immune response produces antigens that protect the body when nCoV enters, with an efficiency of about 95%.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Reuters/CBS)

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