A single vaccine to protect against Covid and against the flu. The Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax laboratories have all launched in recent days test phases on vaccines supposed to protect against these two respiratory diseases at the same time.
In the midst of the flu vaccination campaign, in parallel with that of the reminder for the Covid for fragile people, a single vaccine seems to be a useful tool in the future, according to specialists. According to them, these new vaccines will be available at the earliest in two years.
For Professor Mathieu Molimard, head of the pharmacology department at the Bordeaux University Hospital, this research is good news. This progress is not a surprise since the specialists have already demonstrated that it is possible to receive, on the same day, a vaccine against influenza and a vaccine against Covid. “There is no problem of interactions in terms of the immune system“, explains Professor Molimard.
Gain efficiency with messenger RNA
Coupling the two vaccines into one will be possible since for some time now laboratories have been developing messenger RNA influenza vaccines, a technology already used in vaccines against Covid. This novelty should make it possible to improve the vaccine against the flu. Currently, “it is not very effective but there, by working with a Messenger RNA technology, we will be able to have a production of proteins perhaps of better quality and we hope to have an immune response which will be superior”, says Professor Molimard. Messenger RNA is used to command human cells to manufacture proteins present in the virus in order to accustom the immune system to recognize and neutralize it.
A more convenient two-in-one vaccine
One vaccine instead of two, the idea is also attractive for its practicality. “Having coupled vaccines will greatly improve vaccination coverage”, notes Professor Jean-Daniel Lelièvre, head of the immunology department at the Henri-Mondor hospital in Paris. Today, “People have to come back twice to get vaccines, which induces a certain weariness. So combining vaccinations, we know it’s a very good thing.”