Moderna Inc announced on Wednesday that it has had officially begun trials of a flu shot with the new technology that was used to make its coronavirus vaccine.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company’s COVID-19 shot uses part of the virus’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to get the body to recognize the pathogen and attack if a person becomes infected.
Now, Moderna says it has given doses to the first participants in a clinical trial looking at an influenza vaccine using mRNA technology. Before the pandemic, mRNA technology was known about but was widely unexplored and unused by scientists.
Now, many believe it can change the future of vaccines, and even be the basis for creating vaccines for HIV/AIDS, which Moderna is also researching.
‘We expect that our seasonal influenza vaccine candidates will be an important component of our future combination respiratory vaccines,’ said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement. The shots being trialed are for a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it will combat four different strains of the flu.
‘Respiratory combination vaccines are an important pillar of our overall mRNA vaccine strategy,’ Bancel continued.
‘We believe that the advantages of mRNA vaccines include the ability to combine different antigens to protect against multiple viruses and the ability to rapidly respond to the evolution of respiratory viruses, such as influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV. ‘Our vision is to develop an mRNA combination vaccine so that people can get one shot each fall for high efficacy protection against the most problematic respiratory viruses.’