(Photo : GettlyImages/ Europa Press News) Moderna vaccine

Moderna is starting its human trials for its mRNA-based seasonal flu vaccine. The pharmaceutical company announced on July 7 that the start of the clinical trial marks the next step on vaccine technology after the success of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2020.

Moderna's mRNA Vaccine

Before the pandemic, Moderna's mRNA vaccines were just an experiment and were even labeled as the future of vaccine development.

Those who got the mRNA shot was injected with small particles of genetic material retrieved from the target virus.

The cells will then use that genetic material to create bits of the virus in the body so the immune system will learn how to fight against it.

Also Read: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Was Created in Only 2 Days, CEO Says; Now Applies for Emergency Use

Pfizer and Moderna's high efficacy of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines has given the vaccine a great reputation among health experts.

Now, numerous pharmaceutical companies want to use the same technology to create vaccines for other infectious diseases, including seasonal flu, according to Live Mint. 

The seasonal flu shots given annually in the United States are usually between 40% and 60% effective. The most common shots are created by growing the influenza virus in chicken eggs or cells and killing the virus to be no longer dangerous.

Growing the virus takes time, so pharmaceutical companies have to begin making the shots six months ahead of time, based on predictions around which flu strain will be circulating that year.

Pharmaceutical companies are hopeful that the new mRNA-based flu shots are more effective than the traditional ones.

Since they are faster to make, the vaccine production won't have to start so far in advance, and they could be more closely matched with the type of flu that is spreading.

Moderna is not the first company to begin testing its mRNA flu shots in human trials. Last year, Sanofi and Translate Bio started their trial, according to The Verge.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech have expressed their interest in mRNA flu shots for a couple of years now, and the companies stated that they would push forward with those plans.

Moderna stated that it hopes to create combination vaccines that could help protect people against COVID-19, seasonal flu, and other infections with just one shot.

Stephane Bancel, the chief executive officer of Moderna, said in a press release that their vision is to create an mRNA combination vaccine so that people can get one dose each year for high efficacy protection against respiratory viruses.

Rosemary Rochford, an immunologist at the University of Colorado, said that if the flu shots using the mRNA technology are proven to be effective, it could make them more prepared for a potential pandemic in the future.

mRNA Technology Treatment for Snakebites

Aside from undergoing clinical trials for seasonal flu shots, the mRNA technology is also being tested to see if it can be used to treat venomous snakebites.

The co-founder of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Derrick Rossi, said that he positively impacts humanity.

The mRNA technology has introduced the COVID-19 vaccine to the world, and now he wants to create a vaccine to prevent deaths caused by venomous snakebites, according to Global News.

Related Article: Moderna COVID-19 Booster: New Shots Bring Better Protection Against Variants like South Africa, Brazil Strains

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Written by Sophie Webster

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