The CEO of the American pharmaceutical company Modern, Stephane Bancel, announced that his company continues to work on the development of a vaccine that works against the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, although it indicated that it will not be ready before the end of 2023.
The manager made the announcement during his speech at the Davos World Economic Forum. “It would be an annual booster dose so that people avoid having to be inoculated two or three times in winter,” he explained. Regarding when that inoculant will be ready, he pointed out: “Best case scenario would be fall 2023.”
He said the combination vaccine, which will protect against COVID-19, influenza and RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, could be available before the winter infectious season in 2023.
Bancel admitted that it is necessary to reduce the current high frequency of booster doses to prevent people from rejecting vaccination.. The head of one of the two laboratories that has developed vaccines against COVID-19 with the new messenger RNA technology (the other is Pfizer-BioNTech) also recalled that since November his company has been working on a vaccine specially aimed at combating the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, already dominant in the world.
“The laboratories will finish this work in the coming weeks and will share the results with the regulatory authorities,” said the businessman. In this regard, the US Government’s main health adviser, Anthony Fauci, indicated in the same Forum that the current situation in which booster doses are proposed every time a new variant of the coronavirus emerges is not optimal, and A universal vaccine that can serve against any evolution of SARS-CoV-2 should be attempted.
Bancel had previously said that people may need a fourth shot of a vaccine this fall, since the protection of booster vaccinations decreases in the coming months.
This month, Israel became the first country in the world to offer a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people aged 60 and over.
Top medical adviser to the US president, Anthony Fauci, also speaking in Davos on Monday, said there was no evidence that repeated-boost disease overwhelmed the immune system. “Giving boosters at different times, there’s really no evidence that it’s going to hamper” the immune response, he said. Fauci said the goal should be a booster that induces a response against multiple potential variants.
Bancel also said that Moderna’s vaccine candidate specifically targeting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has almost finished development and It will enter clinical development imminently. The US pharmaceutical company expects to be able to share data with regulatory authorities around March, it added.
“The vaccine is running out,” he said. “He should be at the clinic in the next few weeks. We hope in the March time frame that we will be able to have data to share with regulators to determine next steps.”
This month, Darius Hughes, Moderna UK CEO, said: “Our number one priority for 2022, after getting the correct COVID vaccine for the Omicron variant, is to try to really push our influenza and RSV programs to see if we can get a single-dose combination respiratory vaccine.”, He said. “We think the benefit to the NHS and all vaccination services and ultimately to patients will be huge.”