By CNBC and Siam Rath
MODERNA shares rose yesterday (Sept. 10) after it announced it’s developing a two-in-one vaccine booster shot that protects against both Covid-19 and the seasonal flu.
The new vaccine, which the company is calling mRNA-1073, combines Moderna’s current Covid vaccine with a flu shot that’s also under development, according to a press release. Shares of Moderna jumped by more than 5% after the announcement.
“Today we are announcing the first step in our novel respiratory vaccine programme with the development of a single dose vaccine that combines a booster against Covid-19 and a booster against flu,” CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement yesterday. “We are making progress on enrolling patients in our rare disease programmes, and we are fully enrolled in our personalised cancer vaccine trial. We believe this is just the beginning of a new age of information-based medicines.”
In Thailand the Public Health Ministry said there were 14,403 Covid cases and 189 deaths today (Sept. 10), down from 16,031 and 220 respectively yesterday.
Of the new batch of cases 14,062 were among the general public and 341 in prisons and detention centres.
This takes the cumulative confirmed total since April 1 to 1,324,090 with an additional 15,610 patients discharged from hospital.
Today’s 189 fatalities raises the death toll since April to 13,826
Moderna’s announcement comes on the heels of its highly successful launch of mRNA-based two-dose Covid vaccine, which was authorised for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in December. More than 147 million of the Moderna shots have been administered in the US, according to data compiled by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology has been under development for years, but Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines are the first time mRNA has been cleared for use in humans. The mRNA-based Covid vaccines work by tricking the body to produce a harmless piece of the virus, triggering an immune response. It’s said to be easier to produce than traditional vaccines, which generally use a dead or weakened virus to produce an immune response.
Bancel previously said the company hoped to have a booster shot that would combine protection against both viruses.
“What we’re trying to do at Moderna actually is to get a flu vaccine in the clinic this year and then combine our flu vaccine to our Covid vaccine so you only have to get one boost at your local CVS store … every year that would protect you to the variant of concern against Covid and the seasonal flu strain,” Bancel said in April.
Moderna also announced yesterday it is developing a pediatric vaccine, called mRNA-1365, which would combine vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus.
Top: A man is getting an injection at a hospital.
Home Page: Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Both photos: Marco Verch, professional photographer from Cologne (CC BY 2.0)
— CNBC’s Kevin Stankiewicz contributed reporting