Pfizer studying mRNA-based flu shot

Pfizer is working on leveraging the research it has done on mRNA vaccines to make a new flu shot.

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The company announced Monday that it is in Phase 1 of a clinical trial that will examine the safety and effects of a single dose mRNA-based flu shot.

Pfizer said during the announcement that it had been working on a potential mRNA flu shot.

“The COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to deliver on the immense scientific opportunity of mRNA. Influenza remains an area where we see a need for vaccines which could result in improved efficacy in any given season, and we believe mRNA is the ideal technology to take on this challenge to transform global health outcomes,” Kathrin Jansen, Ph.D., senior vice president and the head of vaccine research & development, said in a news release.

Related: Coronavirus: Pfizer, BioNTech submit vaccine trial data for children ages 5 to 11 to FDA

Currently, vaccine strains are decided upon about six months before the flu season begins, then they are developed by growing the virus in chicken eggs or mammalian cells. The virus is inactivated and processed to make the vaccine.

In an mRNA vaccine, researchers need the genetic sequence of the virus which, when used, will allow for quicker response and development of a treatment, Pfizer said.

For more on the process, click here.