Moderna’s combo COVID and flu shot offers strong immunity in older adults during late stage trial

Moderna’s combo COVID and flu shot offers strong immunity in older adults during late stage trial
The Moderna Inc. headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (PHOTO: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Moderna’s combo flu and COVID vaccine provided a strong immune response in older adults, with levels comparable to getting the flu and COVID shots separately, according to the company’s results from a late-stage clinical trial.

There are still multiple steps required before the shot would become available. Moderna would need to apply to the FDA for approval, which may require input from the FDA’s independent panel of experts. If authorized or approved, the shot would also need to be greenlit by the CDC before becoming available.

The clinical trial was done in 8,000 adults. Half of those adults were 65 years and older and the other half were between the ages of 50 and 64. Older adults are especially at risk for severe illness from respiratory illnesses including hospitalization and death. The combo vaccine was compared to already approved and available flu and COVID vaccines.

Everyone over the age of 6 months was recommended to get a flu shot and updated COVID shot last season. The CDC is expected to make new recommendations again this fall for both the flu and COVID vaccine. While both the COVID and flu vaccine can be given separately during the same visit, a combination shot may be preferred for some patients.

The most commonly reported side effects of Moderna’s combo shot were injection site pain, fatigue, muscle pain and headache.

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