Australians will have access to a ‘super’ vaccine shot that will protect against Covid-19 and the flu as clinical trials are set to begin.
Moderna’s combined shot for flu, respiratory viruses and Covid-19 is in early testing with trials on the books for later this year.
Chief medical officer Paul Burton believes that future vaccines will be able to adapt to multiple strains and respiratory diseases that have developed in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Mr Burton says that combining multiple vaccines will be the future of fighting against diseases and viruses other than Covid-19.
He told Sky News: “We still have to be cautious, this fight is not over and we can’t let our guard down.”
The Moderna ‘super shot’ - which could potentially be publicly available by 2024 - could also be manufactured in Australia with a multi-billion-dollar mRNA hub in the works.
The site for the Australian Moderna manufacturing hub is set to be announced in the next few weeks, according to Moderna general manager Michael Azrak said.
He told Sky News: “It's taken a little bit longer than we anticipated because we're actually going to be building a larger facility than we anticipated.”
The Morrison government made the agreement with Moderna back in March, with the hub set to be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
It was part of a 10-year agreement with the Australian government to establish a domestic vaccine portfolio with Moderna pledging to support Australia’s mRNA research development.
Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel said in a statement: “I would like to thank the Australian and Victorian Governments for their collaboration and partnership.
"We are committed to global public health and while we are still responding to this pandemic, we also want to ensure we and society learn from it.
“As Moderna expands internationally, we are pleased to bring local mRNA manufacturing to Australia.
"We believe that this sustainable national business model will have global impact and implications.”
Before we get an ‘all-in-one’ vaccine shot, a new and improved Moderna booster shot for Covid-19 could be on its way.
According to The New York Times, the company recently finished a clinical trial of an updated vaccine that targets the Omicron variant.
In their preliminary results they found that among those with no prior Covid-19 infection, the new combination produced 1.75 times the level of antibodies against Omicron than the existing Moderna vaccine.
Featured Image Credit: Michele D'Ottavio / Alamy. Jim West / Alamy.
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