Moderna is Working on a Three-In-One COVID, Cold, and Flu Vaccine

moderna three in one vaccine

The US biotechnology company Moderna, whose vaccines are being used as booster doses across Australia, has announced that it is to begin developing a three-in-one jab to target the most popular and damaging respiratory viruses.

In a statement to investors, Moderna said that they would be expanding their range of medical interventions, with the big announcement being their launch of a vaccine that provides protection against influenza, the respiratory syncytial virus, which causes colds and COVID-19.

Respiratory syncytial viruses are often benign, however, some rarer ones can be particularly nasty and even fatal in younger populations and the immunocompromised.

They also announced that they would be launching a vaccine to protect against human coronaviruses. While less well known than other types, like zoonotic coronaviruses including COVID-19, four human coronaviruses are responsible for 10-30% of upper respiratory tract infections in adults globally. Their new vaccine would protect against these four.

“Our goal is to develop vaccines to address respiratory infections, and eventually combine many into a single annual booster vaccine with the aim of reducing the significant morbidity and mortality caused by these viruses,” said President of Moderna, Stephen Hodge.

It’s clearly a long-play move in Moderna’s game plan as they look towards the end of the pandemic and what life might be like when it’s not dominated by COVID-19.

Experts have been predicting for some time that we will need annual vaccine boosters to defend against the latest wave or the latest strain of COVID, much like we do the flu, and Moderna is getting ahead of this by offering a combination shot.

The company has already been testing a combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine since September of last year. This shot however goes one better and could be even more useful in preventing illness.

The vaccines will all be created using the same mRNA technology that has been deployed in their COVID vaccine, however early tests of their standalone flu vaccine showed that their initial efforts were not as effective as other options.

Moderna has however said that the convenience of a three-in-one would be a very attractive offering to governments and individuals.

There is no date yet as to when these new vaccines might be released. Moderna is planning to roll out its Omicron-specific booster vaccine in the US in September and is currently holding an investor event to discuss the rollout of future vaccines.

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