Modena provided the first set of volunteers its mRNA seasonal flu shot in a clinical trial, announced the pharmaceutical company. The beginning of the trial marks the further stage of the company’s work on such kind of vaccine technology after the huge success of the Covid-19 vaccine that was prepared using the same technique. Before the pandemic, mRNA vaccines were mostly experimental. People who get the mRNA shot are also injected with a small genetic material snippet from the virus. Their cells utilize the genetic information to create bits of the virus, and to this, the immune system of the body learns to fight against it.
The greater efficacy of Moderna prepared mRNA Covid-19 vaccines was a major endorsement for such mRNA flu vaccine. Now, pharmaceutical companies are planning to utilize this technology to fight several other infectious diseases types, including flu. In the US, the flu shots that are available have 40-60 percent efficacy.
The most common flu shots are prepared by the influenza virus in the cells or in the chicken eggs, and after that, the virus is killed so that it does not become dangerous. A long time is required to grow the influenza virus. So, the companies have started creating shots six months prior to the time that is based on predictions. The predictions are made by analyzing when the flu might be circulating in the year. Pharmaceutical companies expect that the mRNA flu vaccines can become more effective compared to the traditional ones. As the flu vaccine is faster to create, the production of the vaccine does not require much time, and they do not have to start it so far in advance.
The Flu Shots Gives Protection from Respiratory Viruses
Moderna is the second company for testing the mRNA flu vaccine on humans. Sanofi and Translate Bio have already tried it. Pfizer and BioNTech are interested in the mRNA flu vaccines and are planning for this as well. Moderna said that it hopes to eventually make combination vaccines that will protect people against respiratory infections, Covid-19, and flu with just one shot.
The CEO of Moderna Stéphane Bancel said that their vision is to produce an mRNA vaccine combination for high efficacy protection against all of the problematic respiratory viruses. An immunologist Rosemary Rochford said that the mRNA would give people a strong platform for rapid responses. If the flu shots prove to be effective, then they could make everyone more prepared for potential pandemic flu.