(WSYR-TV) – Pfizer, the company known more recently for its vaccination against COVID-19, has now announced a phase one study with BioNTech of an mRNA-based combination vaccine.

This would allow patients to receive both the influenza shot and the COVID-19 shot in one vaccination.

The announcement was made through Pfizer’s Twitter account on November 3.

According to Pfizer’s official site, the first participant has been selected to receive a dose in a phase 1 trial so the team can fully analyze the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of having a vaccination that provides consumers with protection in both diseases.

Pfizer also reports that its vaccine candidate combines Pfizer’s modRNA-based influenza vaccine candidate which is currently in phase 3 clinical development, and Pfizer and BioNTech’s authorized Omicron-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.

“The flexibility and manufacturing speed of the mRNA technology has demonstrated that it is well-suited for other respiratory diseases. Pfizer is deeply proud of our continued work to explore its potential to protect against influenza and COVID-19 in one combination vaccine, which we think could simplify immunization practices against these two respiratory pathogens, potentially leading to better vaccine uptake for both diseases. Even with existing seasonal influenza vaccines, the burden of this virus is severe across the world causing thousands of deaths and hospitalizations every year. This is an exciting step in our ongoing journey with BioNTech as we collectively look to transform the prevention of infectious diseases around the world.”

Annaliesa Anderson, Ph. D., Senior Vice President

What is Phase 1?

According to Pfizer, the study is designed to evaluate the safety, immunogenicity, and optimal dose level of a combined vaccine candidate against COVID-19 and influenza and is being conducted in the United States, aiming to enroll 180 healthy volunteers 18 through 64 years of age.

The follow-up period for each participant will be a total of six months.

In layman’s terms, what does all this mean?

According to Pfizer, the information can be compressed into three informative bullets.

  • Novel combination vaccination approach aims to help protect individuals against two severe respiratory viral diseases
  • Candidate combines Pfizer’s quadrivalent modRNA-based influenza vaccine candidate with the companies’ Omicron-adapted bivalent COVID-19 vaccine based on BA.4/BA.5, each of which is based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA platform technology
  • U.S.-based study to include 180 participants 18 to 64 years of age with the first participant dosed this week