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Photo: Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moderna announced Thursday that it is in the process of developing a new vaccine that combines a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine with a seasonal flu vaccine.

Why it matters: "We believe this is just the beginning of a new age of information-based medicines," CEO Stéphane Bancel said in the press release, which also gave a slew of updates on projects the company is pursuing.

Driving the news: “Today we are announcing the first step in our novel respiratory vaccine program with the development of a single dose vaccine that combines a booster against COVID-19 and a booster against flu," Bancel said.

  • The company has several flu shot candidates in development and the booster shot would combine the version furthest along in development with its already existing COVID-19 vaccine, per Reuters.
  • Moderna also said it is developing a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and provided updates regarding its general COVID-19 booster shot trials.
  • Moderna's shares jumped more than 5% following the announcement, CNBC reported.

Of note: Novavax announced Wednesday that it is also developing a combination COVID-19 and flu shot, and that it has initiated a clinical trial of the potential new shot.

Go deeper

Dec 17, 2021 - Health

Study: J&J vaccine provides little or no protection against Omicron

A patient receives the Sputnik Light vaccine during a home vaccination visit in Kazan, Russia. Photo: Yegor Aleyev\TASS via Getty Images

COVID-19 vaccines produced by Johnson & Johnson and China's Sinopharm, as well as the Russian-made Sputnik V, were found to provide little or no protection against the newly emerging Omicron variant, according to a study out this week.

Driving the news: The study, which was published as a preprint and isn't yet peer-reviewed, found that just three out of 13 people who were fully vaccinated with China's Sinopharm vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies against Omicron.

Dec 17, 2021 - Health

New York reports highest daily COVID record of pandemic

People wait to be tested for COVID-19 at a street-side testing booth in New York on Dec. 17. Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

New York reported 21,027 COVID cases on Friday, surpassing the previous single-day record from January as Omicron reaches across the state.

Why it matters: With the new variant appearing to spread more easily than previous COVID strains, the surge will likely be replicated around the country, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker