American vaccine-maker Novavax has started its early stage trial of a vaccine which combines an as-yet-unapproved Covid-19 shot with the company’s NanoFlu influenza jab.

In a statement on Wednesday, Novavax said it has initiated an early stage study, enrolling 640 healthy adults between the ages of 50 and 70, to test the safety and effectiveness of its combined influenza/Covid-19 vaccine. 

Those enrolled in the trial have either previously been infected with Covid-19 or were given an approved vaccine at least eight weeks before the start of the Novavax study.

The trial, which is taking place in Australia, will see participants receive the NVX-CoV2373 Covid-19 vaccine, which is awaiting approval, combined with its NanoFlu influenza shot. The cocktail also includes an adjuvant which is a substance that may boost the immune response. 

“Combination of these two vaccines… may lead to greater efficiencies for the healthcare system and achieve high levels of protection against Covid-19 and influenza with a single regimen,” Novavax’s president of research and development Gregory Glenn said in a statement.

The firm has been touted as a leader in the race to safely and effectively combine flu and Covid-19 vaccines. Novavax said in May that it expects seasonal flu and Covid-19 combo vaccines to be vitally important in controlling the spread of the pandemic. 

In preclinical studies, the vaccine “demonstrated robust, functional immune responses” against four different flu types and Covid-19. The firm claims that the Matrix-M adjuvant played a key role in this.

Novavax does not expect trial results until the first half of 2022. The company has already delayed, on multiple occasions, its application for the approval of its Covid-19 vaccine.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!