Stephane Bancel, the chief executive officer of Moderna said that the company was looking to launch a single booster shot that would be effective against COVID-19, influenza and RSV, which is a common respiratory virus. The company is aiming to release this booster shot by fall 2023.
On Monday, at a panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bancel said that their goal was to have a “single annual booster” so that they did not have compliance issues among people who did not want “to get two or three shots in winter.”
He also said that the COVID booster was in phase three trials while the flu vaccine is expected to progress from phase trials to phase three in the second quarter. Both the vaccines use mRNA technology.
According to The Guardian, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is President Biden’s chief medical advisor and was also at Davos, said that “giving boosters at different times, there is really no evidence that’s going to hinder” immune response. He also said that boosters should be effective against multiple potential variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Moderna said that it will ship between 2 to 3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2022. The company said that it had shipped 807 million doses of its vaccine in 2021, according to a January 10, 2022 report in its website, of which 25 percent were shipped to low and middle income countries.
Last September, Bancel had told investors that the vaccine maker was working on a booster shot that would combine its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 with a vaccine that it was developing to combat influenza and they would potentially add a dose that would combat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
In December, an update from Moderna had shown that its flu mRNA vaccine that was under development did not produce as robust results in older people as the existing flu vaccine from Sanofi. This had resulted in some investors withdrawing their investments in Moderna.