The combined vaccine against influenza and covid has passed the key phase of the trial

The third phase of the clinical trial showed that the vaccine leads to the formation of protective antibodies

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Illustration, Photo: Getty Images
Illustration, Photo: Getty Images
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The pharmaceutical company Moderna stated that its combined vaccine against flu and covid, which prevents contracting both diseases by giving a single dose, has passed a key part of the last stage of scientific checks.

The third phase of the clinical trial showed that the vaccine leads to the formation of protective antibodies.

And it does so as effectively as separate flu and covid vaccines, the results suggest.

A smaller number of injections during the administration of the vaccine would be easier and simpler, stated Moderna.

Director Stefan Bansel told BBC News that he hoped the informational ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine could become widely available in 2026 or possibly 2025.

"We are delighted with the results, because this is the first time that a company has managed to show positive results from the phase three trial of combining the flu and covid vaccine in one dose," he said.

Receiving one dose, with one needle, simplifies the entire process for the person being vaccinated.

Competing companies Pfizer and BioNTeh are testing a similar combined mRNA vaccine against influenza and covid.

Scientists hope that it will be possible to make and modify mRNA vaccines more quickly than those currently used against flu, and that they will be a better tool against constantly changing strains.

During Moderna's trial, which is still ongoing, the mRNA-1083 vaccine generated a stronger immune response compared to other currently approved vaccines.

It produced the same or better response compared to approved flu vaccines, which was also seen in the example of vaccines made for the elderly.

It also outperformed Moderna's current covid booster vaccine Spikevax in terms of producing protective antibodies, possibly because it was designed to fight the strains that have been circulating recently, Bansel said in an interview with the BBC.

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Older people

The results are based on the follow-up of 8.000 volunteers, who were older than 50, while half were older than 64.

Moderna stated that it focused its attention on the elderly, because this is a group of people who will most likely continue to be offered the covid vaccine.

However, the company plans to eventually offer the new vaccine to younger people as well.

Side effects were mostly mild and included little pain at the injection site and less fatigue, which is also the case with other vaccines.

The company plans to present the results at a medical conference and submit them for publication.

Moderna is also developing a vaccine against a disease called cytomegalovirus (CMV), and hopes to have the final phase of testing this fall.

There is currently no protection for pregnant women and their unborn children against CMV.

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