Moderna hopes to market a combined booster vaccination for COVID-19, influenza and RSV — a common respiratory virus — as soon as the fall of 2023, CEO Stéphane Bancel said Monday.
Bancel, speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum, said the combination vaccine would enable people to get broad protection against illnesses caused by respiratory viruses ahead of the winter infectious season without having to obtain multiple jabs.
“Our goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter,” said Bancel. “The best-case scenario would be the fall of 2023.”
Bancel told investors last September that Moderna was working on a booster shot that would combine its mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, a vaccine it is developing against influenza and possibly a dose to treat respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.
The COVID booster is currently in phase three trials, he told the panel discussion, while the flu vaccine under development — which also uses mRNA technology — should progress from phase two to three trials in the second quarter. Investors sold off Moderna shares after an update in December showed that it generated antibody levels against all four strains of the influenza virus in an early-stage study that were not as robust in older people as an existing flu jab from Sanofi.
Moderna plans to ship 2 to 3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year, Bancel confirmed, after 807 million in 2021. The company is currently in consultation with health officials on the composition of the COVID-19 vaccine doses to be used this fall.