Moderna aim to make combined flu-COVID vaccine for 2023

flu covid vaccine, moderna vaccine
© Marcos del Mazo

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, CEO Stéphane Bancel said Moderna aim to create a combined flu and COVID vaccine

The new vaccine would be built for flu, COVID and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which usually creates mild cold-like symptoms.

This vaccine would be created in time for Autumn of 2023, if clinical trials go well.

According to Bancel, taking a COVID vaccine will become an ingrained part of life for the next few years – in countries where vaccination is accessible.

Speaking about the inevitability of ongoing vaccination, Bancel said: “Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter, but they get one dose where they get a booster for corona, a booster for flu and RSV.”

How much can Moderna manufacture?

Currently, Moderna expects to ship two to three million doses of existing COVID vaccines in 2022.

In November, 2021, the company announced that it was testing more vaccine candidates: a higher booster load, an Omicron-specific design and two multivalent boosters. Multivalent vaccines are essentially multi-taskers, capable of efficiently stopping different types of mutations – such as Omicron, or Delta. At the moment, prior infection by COVID gives an eerie 19% protection against the Omicron variant.

While Bancel indicates that the flu-COVID vaccine may be available before 2023 ends, he also said: “I don’t think it will happen in every country.”

“I don’t think it will happen in every country.”

Vaccine inequity means that some countries are legally banned from creating the vaccine, leaving them to compete on the market or wait for COVAX to reach them. Bancel appears to think that this issue will definitely continue until 2023.

Since Moderna are able to take a candidate from testing to trial within 90 days, the question now is which offering will be the focus of exportation and mass manufacturing in 2022? And who will be using it first?


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