Moderna data shows mRNA isn’t a quick fix for the flu vaccine

Moderna data shows mRNA isn’t a quick fix for the flu vaccine


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The first data from clinical trials of Moderna’s mRNA-based seasonal flu vaccine, released by the company Friday morning, were underwhelming — a finding that shows gene-based vaccines might not be a fix for all the problems with vaccine development.

The overwhelming success of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, made by Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech, supercharged interest in that strategy for developing shots. The shots inject people with tiny snippets of the gene for a virus, which the body builds and then uses to learn how to fight the virus. Current flu shots contain inactivated copies of the influenza virus. mRNA vaccines are faster to design and produce because manufacturers don’t have to grow copies of the virus, which is why experts have…

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