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Human trials for combined COVID-19 and flu vaccine expected soon

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Human trials of a two-in-one jab targeting COVID-19 and the flu are expected to start within months.

A triple-threat vaccine from drug firm Moderna is also in the works, which includes protection against a highly contagious lung infection.

9News spoke exclusively to the company's Chief Medical Officer, who is currently visiting Australia.

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Dr Paul Burton, who is based in the US, said a Phase 1 trial of a combination flu and coronavirus vaccine is currently underway.

Moderna plans to have that vaccine ready next year or by early 2024.

It's working on having a triple vaccine available the year after.

"We have a three in one which is covid, flu and something called RSV. These are all respiratory pathogens that kill people young and old every year," he said.

Burton also warned of the latest omicron variants sweeping the globe, including Australia.

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A triple-threat vaccine from drug firm Moderna is also in the works, which includes protection against a highly contagious lung infection.

"I think BA.4 and 5 are concerning, they're more transmissible, they have more immune escape, this is something we have to take very seriously," he said.

"I don't think it's as severe and dangerous as delta."

Burton said Australia's medical watchdog, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, is considering Moderna's new COVID-19 booster, which targets the omicron strain.

"Spikevax was a good vaccine two years ago, it's still a very good vaccine today, but we need a variant adapted booster and that's what we have generated now," he said.

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The company is also using its messenger RNA technology to create a cancer vaccine.

Results from a trial involving 200 patients will be known later this year.

Meanwhile, plans are well underway to set up vaccine manufacturing in Melbourne in what will be the first facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

It's hoped to open by the end of 2024.



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