WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have launched an early-stage study to analyze a combination vaccine targeting COVID-19 and influenza.
- The single-dose vaccine candidate is a combination of Pfizer’s mRNA-based flu shot and the companies’ omicron booster shot.
- The companies will use 180 participants between the ages of 18 and 64.
Pfizer Inc. is partnering with the German BioNTech SE to launch an early-stage study to evaluate a combination vaccine that can protect individuals against COVID-19 and influenza.
On Thursday, the companies announced that the potential single-dose vaccine would be made up of the omicron booster shot and the mRNA flu shot produced by the American biopharmaceutical company.
The study will evaluate whether the shot is tolerable and safe for human patients, or if it has the ability to produce an immune system response. One hundred-eighty volunteers from the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 64 will be used in the study.
“The flexibility and manufacturing speed of the mRNA technology has demonstrated that it is well-suited for other respiratory diseases,” Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer Annaliesa Anderson said in a statement.
“Pfizer is deeply proud of our continued work to explore its potential to protect against influenza and COVID-19 in one combination vaccine, which we think could simplify immunization practices against these two respiratory pathogens, potentially leading to better vaccine uptake for both diseases.”
“Even with existing seasonal influenza vaccines, the burden of this virus is severe across the world causing thousands of deaths and hospitalizations every year. This is an exciting step in our ongoing journey with BioNTech as we collectively look to transform the prevention of infectious diseases around the world,” Anderson added.
The first participant to receive the dose was given the combined vaccine earlier this week. Meanwhile, competitor drugmaker Moderna Inc. is working with Novavax to also create a vaccine capable of fighting both COVID-19 and influenza.
Although the U.S.’s COVID-19 rate is declining, companies are still looking to develop different protections against variants of the infectious disease.
Source: Fox News