Moderna Launches Crucial Phase 3 Testing of Combined COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines

Moderna, a pharmaceutical company, has reported successful early clinical trials for its combination of COVID-19 and influenza vaccine, named mRNA-1083. 

This development marks a significant step towards approval for the dual vaccine.

The mRNA-1083 vaccine is part of a group of COVID-19/influenza vaccines currently developing. 

Competing pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Novavax also conduct clinical trials with their versions.

Moderna conducted a combined phase 1 and 2 trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of their vaccine compared to several benchmarks:

  1. A dose of the influenza vaccine Fluarix for adults aged 50 to 64.
  2. A dose of enhanced influenza vaccine, Fluzone HD, for adults aged 65 to 70.
  3. The Spikevax booster (Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine) for both age groups.

According to Moderna’s statement, the vaccine was safe, with only around four percent of trial participants experiencing “grade three adverse reactions,” which are medically significant but not life-threatening.

Importantly, mRNA-1083 did not cause new reactions not previously linked to Fluarix, Fluzone, or Spikevax. 

It also provided similar or even more excellent viral protection against influenza and COVID-19 than standalone vaccines.

Moderna plans to proceed with phase 3 trials in adults aged 50 and over and hopes to obtain regulatory approval in the United States by 2025.

Dr. Paul Griffin, Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services, cautioned that while early results seemed promising, it was essential to await peer review of the findings. 

He emphasized the importance of ensuring that one vaccine’s protection does not diminish the other’s when developing combination vaccines. 

The trials established this was not the case, paving the way for further progress.

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The Future of Combination Vaccines: Transformative Solutions Ahead

Moderna, a pharmaceutical company, has reported successful early clinical trials for its combination of COVID-19 and influenza vaccine, named mRNA-1083.

Phase 3 trials will focus on demonstrating vaccine effectiveness, going beyond safety and antibody generation, which were the main concerns in early-stage clinical trials.

Dr. Griffin is also involved in clinical trials of Novavax’s combination COVID-19/influenza vaccine, which has shown promising early results. 

He believes that because Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax have all demonstrated the adaptability of their COVID-19 vaccines for combination vaccines, more pharmaceutical companies will likely follow suit, producing COVID-19/influenza vaccines with a significant impact.

Dr. Griffin is particularly excited about the potential for a combination COVID-19/influenza/respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine. 

RSV is a contagious respiratory virus; combining these vaccines into one could be transformative.

However, one limitation of combination vaccines is that the viruses they target do not necessarily peak at the same time of year. 

COVID-19 has not yet become seasonal, so the optimal timing for these combined vaccines will require careful consideration.

Dr. Griffin believes that combining vaccines would make the vaccination process more accessible and convenient, which could increase vaccine uptake, particularly among those who are hesitant to receive multiple injections. 

He anticipates that Australia may have COVID-19/influenza combination vaccines as early as 2025, provided that upcoming clinical trials are successful.

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Source: ABC Health via MSN

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