Pfizer and BioNTech combination COVID-19 and flu vaccine could be on the horizon

News & Politics

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced the launch of a phase 1 trial for a dual-purpose mRNA-based vaccine to tackle both influenza and COVID-19.

“The vaccine candidate combines Pfizer’s quadrivalent modRNA-based influenza vaccine candidate, qIRV (22/23), which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development, and Pfizer and BioNTech’s authorized Omicron-adapted bivalent COVID-19 BNT162b2 (Original/Omicron BA.4/BA.5) vaccine, each of which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA platform technology,” according to a press release.

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“The flexibility and manufacturing speed of the mRNA technology has demonstrated that it is well-suited for other respiratory diseases. Pfizer is deeply proud of our continued work to explore its potential to protect against influenza and COVID-19 in one combination vaccine, which we think could simplify immunization practices against these two respiratory pathogens, potentially leading to better vaccine uptake for both diseases,” said Annaliesa Anderson, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer of Pfizer’s vaccine research and development team.

While the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been heavily hyped by public health officials, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tested positive for COVID-19 last month despite having received an updated vaccine in September. Then, after taking Paxlovid, she tested negative before eventually testing positive again.

Days after the first announcement that Walensky tested positive last month, President Joe Biden — who has previously tested positive for COVID-19 despite having been fully vaccinated and boosted twice — received an updated shot and urged others to follow suit. The White House also posted a cringeworthy video urging people to get vaccinated.

During his experience with COVID-19 earlier this year, Biden also took Paxlovid, tested negative, and then tested positive again.

The CDC claims that the shots “are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. As with other vaccine-preventable diseases, you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccinations, including recommended boosters.”

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