Moderna is working on a single jab which could vaccinate people in the UK against both Covid and flu as early as next year.
The big pharma company’s UK chief Darius Hughes said an annual ‘combination’ vaccine would be more convenient because it required fewer visits to a medical facility and would cut the NHS cost of administering vaccinations.
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The news comes as reports claim that cases of ‘flurona’ have been detected in the UK.
Last year the NHS sought to reassure patients that administering jabs against flu and Covid at the same time did not affect the immune response.
Moderna is currently developing a vaccine to specifically tackle the Omicron variant. Early-stage data on its effectiveness is expected within the next two weeks.
Moderna also hopes to create a jab that tackles Covid, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which typically causes mild symptoms but can be serious, especially for infants and older adults, by the winter of 2024.
Mr Hughes said: ‘Our No 1 priority for 2022, after getting the right Covid vaccine for the Omicron variant, is to try and really drive forward our flu and RSV programmes to see if we can get a combination, single-dose respiratory vaccine.
‘It would be just fantastic for patients if you could have one appointment – go along, have that jab done, and you’re protected against all of those major respiratory diseases for the winter.
‘The benefit for the NHS, and all the vaccination services, and ultimately patients, we think, is going to be huge.’
Mr Hughes said the vaccine would most likely be given to those who were offered a flu jab before the pandemic, which included over-65s and those with long-term health conditions.
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