Moderna's Annual COVID-Flu Booster Dose 'Not Until Fall' 2023

Moderna's Annual COVID-Flu Booster

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Moderna believes that it can offer its annual booster dose against both COVID-19, influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus, infecting the lungs and respiratory tract) “in the best of cases at fall 2023,” its chief executive said Monday. 

“Best-case scenario will be fall 2023. I don’t think it will be in all countries, but we are convinced that it is possible in some countries next year, ”said Stéphane Bancel, the general manager of the laboratory which manufactures one of the two most effective anti-COVID-19 vaccines and based on messenger RNA technology.

He indicated, during a virtual round table of the World Economic Forum, that the trials for RSV were in phase III (which makes it possible to evaluate the therapeutic interest of the treatment on a much larger number of patients) and that those of the messenger RNA vaccine against influenza were in phase II (which demonstrates the efficacy of the treatment).

Mr. Bancel hopes to move into phase II for the latter “from the 2nd quarter of this year”.

For him, this effort to combine protection against several diseases in a single vaccine must also make it possible to overcome the reluctance of the population.

“Our goal is to have a single annual booster so that we have no problem adhering with people who don't want to have two or three injections a winter, but to have a dose that does a booster for the coronavirus and a booster for the flu and RSV, to make sure that people vaccinate,” explained the French official.

He also mentioned production capacity, recalling that in 2021 Moderna had delivered 807 million doses.

“And we continue to increase capacity – with a significant increase in production in the 1st quarter of this year – and with the goal of producing 2 to 3 billion doses this year,” he said.

On December 10, Moderna announced positive initial results for clinical trials of its flu vaccine, using messenger RNA technology.

The vaccine being tested targets the most common influenza A subtypes known as H1N1 and H3N2, as well as influenza B, Yamagata and Victoria lineages. 

The biotechnology company -which made a name for itself thanks to its anti-COVID vaccine and whose business literally exploded – posted a net profit of $7.3 billion in the first nine months of 2021, compared to a loss of $474 million in the same period of 2020.

The company's revenue jumped just as dramatically, from $232 million in the January – September 2020 period, to $11.3 billion in the same period a year later.

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