Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Nov. 3 they will test a combined COVID-19 and influenza mRNA vaccine, which they claim will potentially lead to a better vaccine update for both diseases.
The new vaccine will combine Pfizer’s quadrivalent mRNA-based flu shot, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical development, and Pfizer and BioNTech’s new bivalent booster targeting the original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 variants — a “vaccine” that hasn’t even been subjected to its own clinical trial to determine safety or efficacy.
According to Pfizer’s press release, Phase 1 of the study, sponsored by BioNTech, is designed to “evaluate the safety, immunogenicity and optimal dose level” of a combined vaccine. The trial will be conducted in the U.S. and seeks to enroll 180 health volunteers 18 through 64 years of age. The follow-up period for each trial participant will be six months.
The first participant in the study was dosed earlier this week.
Moderna and Novavax are also testing a combined vaccine targeting COVID-19 and the flu.
According to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, 6, 777 reports of adverse events following the new COVID-19 bivalent booster have been reported as of Oct. 28, 2022. The data included a total of 50 deaths and 361 serious injuries. As of Nov. 2, 26.3 million people have received the updated bivalent booster dose.