Biopharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. has teamed up with German BioNTech SE in an early-stage study to evaluate a vaccine that can protect against influenza and COVID-19.
On Thursday, the companies revealed that the single-dose vaccine candidate would consist of an Omicron booster shot as well as the mRNA flu shot from Pfizer.
The study will assess whether the shot is safe for humans and if the immune system can respond to it. The study will involve one hundred-eighty participant aged between 18 and 64 from the United States.
Annaliesa Anderson, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, stated that the flexibility and speed of the mRNA tech have shown it to be well-suited for other respiratory conditions. “Pfizer is proud of its continued efforts to investigate its potential to protect against flu and COVID-19 using one combination vaccine. We believe this could simplify immunization procedures against these two pathogens, possibly leading to improved vaccine uptake.”
“Even though there are seasonal influenza vaccines available, the virus causes thousands of deaths each year and is a major threat to the health of millions of people around the world. Anderson said that this is an exciting step on our ongoing journey together with BioNTech, as we collectively strive to transform the prevention and control of infectious diseases worldwide.
The combined vaccine was administered to the first patient earlier in the week. Novavax and Moderna Inc. are working together to create a vaccine that can fight both COVID-19 as well as influenza.
Despite the declining U.S. COVID-19 rates, companies continue to look for ways to protect themselves against other forms of infectious diseases.