Today’s Solutions: November 29, 2022

When the common cold returns each year, so does the rise in flu cases. For younger, healthy people, all this means is the sniffles and a day in bed, but as we get older or develop other health conditions, these seasonal diseases can have a more dramatic, sometimes deadly impact on our health.

Currently, influenza shots are given out yearly to prevent these infections, with the CDC predicting up to 200 million shots to be administered within the 2021-2022 flu season.

Even though this vaccine saves millions of lives, it still only decreases the chance of stopping the influenza infection by half. Moderna has recently announced it’s success in an early-stage human clinical trial testing a new more effective version of the flu shot.

Why is this new vaccine likely to be more successful?

Based on the same mRNA biotechnology as the successful Covid-19 vaccine, this shot allows multiple strains to be targeted in one go, heightening its efficacy. Also, the way in which the mRNA molecules can be manufactured is much more cost effective and ethical than traditional vaccinations.

For all 180 participants in these stage I clinical trials, the vaccine successfully evoked antibodies against influenza. Side effects were mild including tenderness at the injection site, headaches, tiredness, and muscle pain, and were most prevalent in younger participants.

The next stage of the vaccine trials will include 500 participants, and aims to find the perfect dosage level. Results for this stage are predicted to be available at the end of next year.

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