Pfizer and Moderna share plans for Covid vaccines

Pfizer and Moderna are planning to introduce new versions of their Covid-19 vaccines, which aim to provide broader and longer-lasting immunity against the virus, as well as combination jabs that protect against Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases in a single dose. The two pharmaceutical companies anticipate a shift to annual Covid-19 shots, similar to the flu shot model, with an updated shot every year targeting the latest variant expected to circulate in the fall and winter. Regulators are moving towards this model, and a panel of independent advisors to the FDA will meet in June to select which Covid-19 strain new vaccines should target when they roll out later this year. Both companies are confident that messenger RNA technology will allow them to keep pace with new Covid-19 variants each year.

Pfizer and BioNTech are also working on a combination vaccine that targets both Covid-19 and the flu, while Pfizer is developing another shot targeting Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Moderna’s shot targeting Covid-19 and the flu is currently in early clinical trials, along with another shot that protects against the flu and RSV. Moderna is also developing a triple combination shot that would target Covid-19, the flu, and RSV all at once. Combination vaccines are anticipated to simplify life for people and encourage more compliance and adherence.

The cost of the vaccines is expected to shift from the government to the private market, with both Pfizer and Moderna selling their shots directly to healthcare providers at around $110 to $130 per dose as soon as the fall, when the federal stockpile of free vaccines is expected to run out. While many of Pfizer's and Moderna's plans for their vaccines may not reach the public for a few more years, and the success of those efforts isn't guaranteed, the public health benefit of combination vaccines will be tremendous globally.


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