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mRNA technology is being considered by pharmaceutical companies for flu vaccines
27 Jan' 21

mRNA technology is being considered by pharmaceutical companies for flu vaccines

 


According to Nature, many pharmaceutical companies are racing to employ the same recipe to create influenza vaccines after Covid-19's validation of mRNA technology.

While companies including Moderna, Pfizer, and Sanofi have just started Phase 1 trials of mRNA-based seasonal flu vaccine candidates, others are expected to follow suit next year.  

mRNA-based flu injections, unlike Covid-19, may prove to be a more difficult test, given that nine flu vaccinations from four different vaccine manufacturers are already available in the United States.

Although inactivated viral or recombinant protein vaccinations are generally safe, they only provide 40-60% protection against illness. 

mRNA-based vaccinations, on the other hand, may result in stronger immune responses, better protein sequence integrity, and more precise strain selection.

But, as demonstrated in the Covid injections created by Moderna and Pfizer, mRNA is prone to tolerability concerns, including aching arms, headaches, low-grade fevers, and lethargy. These identical symptoms can occur after receiving an approved flu vaccination, but they are usually considerably milder.  

Because of the way it is created, the potential benefits of mRNA for preventing flu are numerous. 

"Because mRNA vaccines are synthesised by encoding a target antigen sequence into a plasmid template, they have a high level of fidelity: the encoded antigens exactly match the flu strains chosen for each year's immunisation. Inactivated virus vaccines made in egg and cell-based systems, on the other hand, are prone to sequence alterations that impair their effectiveness." According to the research, 

The fidelity benefit of recombinant protein vaccines is the same, but the manufacturing procedure is much more time-consuming.Because of the flexibility and speed of mRNA vaccine manufacture, drug companies might start manufacturing in May rather than February, for example, for the northern hemisphere. According to the report, this would allow them to make better-educated selections about which strains to include. 

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