Moderna’s leading mRNA influenza jab has failed, the company said yesterday.
In a large clinical trial, the vaccine appeared LESS able to stimulate the immune system than older flu jabs for two of four flu strains, the company said. It also had far higher rates of side effects than the older shots.
The lack of efficacy was notable because flu vaccines have almost no real-world efficacy, as Dr. Anthony Fauci himself conceded in a paper last month.
The trial began in June 2022 and covered 6,100 people in Argentina and other southern hemisphere countries.
Moderna said it was changing the vaccine as a result of the trial failure and hoped to retest it in another clinical trial. But Moderna stock fell about 5 percent today, indicating that investors are skeptical of its plan.
With demand for mRNA Covid shots cratering nearly to zero worldwide, the company is desperately trying to find new illnesses its mRNA shots can treat.
But it will have to follow a far more traditional development pathway for shots for those other diseases than for Covid. Government regulators essentially suspended normal development and approval processes for the Covid shots as part of Operation Warp Speed.
The Covid shots from Moderna and other manufactures were compared to placebo injections, not to each other. But because flu vaccines already exist, Moderna had to test its own jab against them, rather than a placebo injection – a saline shot that didn’t contain any actual treatment.
Yesterday’s failure makes clear the difficulties mRNA shots will face winning approval in a more normal regulatory environment – especially if they must be compared to other treatments, rather than placebos.