"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The results of the combined COVID and flu vaccine look promising. Here's the way it may gain advantage public health.

earlier this week, Moderna announced. Positive results from a phase 3 clinical trial of a combined vaccine against COVID and influenza.

So what did the trial actually find? And what impact will certainly one of the 2 COVID and flu vaccines have on public health? Let's have a look.

Combination vaccines are already used for other diseases.

Combination vaccines have been used successfully in Australia and all over the world for a long time.

For example, the DTP vaccine, a shot that mixes protection against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (whooping cough), was the primary to be administered. In 1948.

The DTP vaccine has since been linked to protection against other diseases. Oh Hexavalent vaccinewhich protects against six diseases — diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B and kind B (an infection that may cause brain swelling) — is a component of routine childhood immunization programs today. In Australia and elsewhere.

Another vital combination is vaccines. MMR vaccineIt is given to children to guard against measles, mumps and rubella.

So what did the trial find?

Moderna's Phase 3 trial involved nearly 8,000 participants in two age groups. Half were adults aged 50 to 64. The other half were 65 and older.

In each age groups, participants were unordered receiving either the combined vaccine (called mRNA-1083) or a control. Control groups were administered a COVID vaccine and an appropriate flu vaccine individually.

A control group within the 50- to 64-year-old age category was given the Fluarix flu vaccine in addition to Moderna's mRNA COVID vaccine, Spikevax. A control group over 65 received SpikeVax with Fluzone HD, an improved flu vaccine designed specifically for older adults.

Participants within the control groups received Moderna's COVID vaccine and a separate flu shot.
No. Stocker/Shutterstock

The study evaluated safety, including any response after vaccination, and the protective immune response to the vaccine produced.

Moderna reported that the combined vaccine produced a greater immune response against COVID and three influenza strains in each age groups, in comparison with the shots given together.

From a security perspective, the combined vaccine was well tolerated. Adverse reactions were similar within the experimental and control groups. The most typical unwanted side effects include muscle aches, fatigue and pain on the injection site.

While the outcomes of the trial are promising, they’ve yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, which suggests they’ve not yet been verified by independent experts. And more research could also be needed to check how the mixture vaccine works in younger age groups.

What are the advantages of combined vaccines?

We cannot overstep The importance of vaccines. Every 12 months they stop 5 million deaths worldwide from a variety of life-threatening infections.

At the identical time, we will all the time do more to extend vaccination uptake, especially in low-resource areas and vulnerable populations.

There are combination vaccines. A variety of benefits. For example, the necessity for fewer injections reduces health system costs, reduces storage requirements and reduces the burden on parents. All of this stuff could be especially worthwhile in low-income countries.

In particular, research shows combination vaccines Make it more likely People will get routine vaccinations.

A mother holds a smiling baby in her arms.  After vaccination, the doctor looks at the child's upper arm.
Several combination vaccines are already in use.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Two major diseases

Every 12 months, especially in the course of the winter months, thousands and thousands of individuals suffer from respiratory infections. In fact, some parts of Australia are reported to be experiencing rapid increases. Cases of the flu Currently.

According to the World Health Organization, globally, roughly 3 million to five million people suffer from severe influenza annually, and around 650,000 people will die. from illness.

Even more so in consequence of COVID. 7 million deaths Worldwide till today.

As the COVID pandemic continues, we've seen pandemic fatigue set in, as some people seem complacent about their COVID shots. Oh 2023 study In Australia, it was found that 30% of the population surveyed were hesitant and 9% were proof against taking a covid booster.

Uptake of the flu vaccine, which many persons are accustomed to getting annually, could be high. That said, current in Australia Flu vaccine rates Still considerably lower for 2024: 53% for adults over 65, 26% for people aged 50 to 65, and fewer for younger age groups.

Can be a two-in-one COVID and flu vaccine. Important public health tool To increase vaccine coverage against these two vital diseases. In addition to protecting the health of people, this may have downstream advantages for the economy and our health system.

Moderna said it will present its trial data on a Upcoming medical conference and submit for publication. The company has also said that it’s going to apply soon. Regulatory approvalwith the opportunity of delivering a combined vaccine in 2025.

At the identical time, Pfizer and BioNTech Late-stage trials for a combined COVID and flu vaccine are also underway. We await further developments with interest.