Moderna combi flu and Covid jab gives better protection, study finds

A combined flu and coronavirus vaccine brings about a higher immune response to both diseases than when the vaccines are administered separately, a clinical trial has shown.

Moderna, the biotech firm behind the Spikevax vaccine used in NHS booster programmes, is trialling a two-in-one jab that can also protect from the flu. Initial results have shown it may be better at protecting against them than what is now being used.

The results showed that the antibody response in the participants brought about higher immune responses against flu and Covid-19 than when the vaccines were administered separately.

The company said they hoped the vaccine would be made widely available as early as next year.

The results came from a randomised controlled phase 3 trial of 8,000 people split into two groups.

The first group were aged 65 and over, and were testing the new jab in comparison with the flu vaccine and the Spikevax jab, while the second group were adults aged 50 to 64.

Stéphane Bancel, the chief executive of Moderna, said: “Combination vaccines have the potential to reduce the burden of respiratory viruses on health systems and pharmacies, as well as offer people more convenient vaccination options that could improve compliance and provide stronger protection from seasonal illnesses.

He added: “Moderna is the only company with a positive phase 3 flu and Covid combination vaccine. Building on the momentum of positive phase 3 data across our respiratory portfolio, we continue to address significant unmet medical needs and advance public health.”

Earlier this year, Boots said the retailer would offer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to healthy customers in England aged 12 and over from next week, at a cost of £98.95 a jab.

The Guardian