Moderna Aims to Launch ‘Flurona’ Vaccine Booster to Treat Coronavirus and Flu in 2023

An Indonesian doctor injects a dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to a man during a COVID-19 vaccination drive on public space in Jakarta on Thursday night, 24 June 2021. Indonesia has intensified vaccination drives and social distancing measures amid a warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) over the increasing …
Afriadi Hikmal/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna is aiming to launch a single-shot vaccine booster to treat both coronavirus and influenza as soon as fall of 2023, according to CEO Stephane Bancel.

“Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter,” Bancel said. “The best-case scenario would be the fall of 2023.”

Bancel spoke on Monday at the World Economic Forum, held virtually this year amid coronavirus concerns.

Moderna developed its coronavirus vaccine using mRNA, and it is currently using mRNA to develop a flu vaccine. The company’s combination booster shot would also protect against RSV, a common respiratory virus.

Empty vials of different vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca against Covid-19 caused by the novel coronavirus are pictured at the vaccination center in Rosenheim, southern Germany, on April 20, 2021, amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Empty vials of different vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca against Covid-19 are pictured at the vaccination center in Germany, on April 20, 2021. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

This month, Bancel said the efficacy of coronavirus booster shots declines over time, opening up the possibility of individuals receiving a fourth booster shot.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who appeared on the virtual panel alongside Bancel, downplayed the impact multiple boosters have on the immune system. “Giving boosters at different times, there is really no evidence that’s going to hinder” immune response, Fauci said.

Bancel said the company intends to ship two to three billion doses of its coronavirus vaccine this year after confirming 807 million shipped in 2021. Bancel also discussed Moderna’s omicron-targeting vaccine, which is under development and will likely be available in spring.

“The vaccine is being finished. It should be in the clinic in the coming weeks,” Bancel said. “We are hoping in the March timeframe to be able to have data to share with regulators to figure out next steps.”

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