Vaccine company Novavax has begun early clinical trials to test a combined Covid and flu jab.
A study based in Australia will include 640 healthy adults aged 50 to 70 years who have either already had the coronavirus or had received a Covid-19 vaccine at least eight weeks before the trial.
The combined jab uses the Novavax Covid-19 vaccine – NVX-CoV2373 – and its NanoFlu influenza vaccine. Successful animal studies were reported in May.
Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax said: ‘This study is the first-of-its-kind to evaluate the vaccine’s potential to induce a robust immune response, augmented by our Matrix-M adjuvant, against two life-threatening diseases simultaneously.’
‘The combination of these two vaccines, which have individually delivered outstanding results with favourable safety and tolerability profiles, may lead to greater efficiencies for the healthcare system and achieve high levels of protection against Covid-19 and influenza with a single regimen.’
But the trial comes as Novavax has yet to seek regulatory approval for its Covid vaccine.
Despite initially saying it would seek approval after successful trial results in March, the latest report suggest it could submit data to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency this autumn.
The vaccine was amongst those purchased by the UK Government with orders placed for 60 million to be produced and packaged in north-east England.
A UK trial has been extended to test the effectiveness of a third Covid-19 vaccine dose in people are who immunocompromised or immunosuppressed with either Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax.