Moderna To Create Dual COVID-19, Flu Vaccine, CEO Says
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Moderna, is now looking to create a dual vaccine against the flu and the novel virus, the company’s chief executive recently said. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said that such a jab could be ready for use in a couple of years, though it would be subject to standard regulatory approval from the U.S. FDA, not emergency use.

For context, the flu vaccine created for the 2019-2020 season was about 45% effective in preventing illness, according to the Centers for Diease Control and Prevention. Bancel said the biotech giant would use groundbreaking messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to create the dual vaccine.

Both vaccines were the fastest to ever be developed and could bring about a new era of vaccine development, experts have said, as the technology could be used to better existing vaccines and create new ones for a range of diseases. In this year, the flu has taken a backseat, with cases at historic lows. The CDC estimates that the flu has resulted in some 12,000 — 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

The news comes after Moderna announced late last month the modified COVID-19 vaccine it developed to address the concerning South African coronavirus variant was ready to be tested in humans in clinical trials. Moderna in a news release at the time said it had shipped the first batch of doses of the new jab to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to commence a Phase 1 clinical trial "that will be led and funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)."