Combination COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines On Track For Phase 3 Trials 

20 Nov, 2023 F.J. Thomas


Sarasota, FL ( – COVID-19 has certainly been persistent in leaving its mark on the world. Some studies have suggested that when it comes to Long COVID, the numbers have been grossly underestimated. Three years later, as of Nov. 8 according to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) there have been 771,820,937 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,978,175 deaths globally. For the U.S., there have been 4,025,133 reported since the first of the year, and 55,853 deaths.  

When COVID vaccine mandates for healthcare workers were first rolled out, the mandate caused quite a controversy, with workers fired from their jobs for refusal of taking the vaccine. Eventually fired workers across the county gathered together and filed lawsuits, many of which have been successful. Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) withdrew the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, however the quality measures assessing the proportion of health care workers who are vaccinated for COVID-19 remain in place.

According to recent vaccination statistics from the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccination rate among providers is 17.2 percent. For influenza vaccination, the rate is 81 percent. The Pacific region has the highest rates at 28.9 percent, and Mountain region was lowest at 9.1 percent. 

Late last month, manufacturers Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their investigational vaccine that protects against both influenza and COVID-19, has passed the first phases of testing and is moving forward into Phase 3 clinical trials. In December of last year, both companies announced that their vaccine had received Fast Track Designation from the FDA. 

“We are encouraged by these early results in our Phase 1/2 study of our combination vaccine candidates against influenza and COVID-19. This vaccine has the potential to lessen the impact of two respiratory diseases with a single injection and may simplify immunization practices for providers, patients, and healthcare systems all over the world,” said Annaliesa Anderson, PhD, FAAM, Senior Vice President and Head, Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer.

A few short weeks prior to the Pfizer announcement, Moderna also announced Phase 3 Trials of their combination vaccine as well, with a target of potential regulatory approval in 2025. Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna, believes the new vaccine could help increase vaccination rates. “Combination vaccines offer an important opportunity to improve consumer and provider experience, increase compliance with public health recommendations, and deliver value for healthcare systems.”

It will be interesting to see if the convenience of one shot instead of two will ultimately have an impact on vaccination rates in healthcare. 

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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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