Moderna is planning to create a dual COVID-19 vaccine that will also work against the flu.
According to Fox News, Moderna wants to add to its resume of virus defense by adding the flu as one of the viruses it fights against. On Tuesday, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the dual vaccine could be available in the next couple of years. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would first need to approve it.
“Today the vaccines we have for seasonal flu are OK in a great year and they are pretty bad in a bad year, in terms of efficacy,” he said during the forum, per the Journal Fox News reports. “It is not impossible that in a couple of years we should have the product I just talked about — a high efficacy seasonal flu vaccine and a COVID vaccine — for you at your pharmacy on an annual basis.”
Bancel said Moderna would use messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to create the multifaceted vaccine, the same creative process that went into making its first COVID-19 vaccine.
Last month, Moderna announced that it would be changing up the vaccine to accommodate the newly developed COVID-19 variant that appeared in South Africa. As for the flu, it reportedly has hit historic lows between the 2020 to 2021 flu season. Since 2010, the flu has caused 12,000 to 61,000 deaths.