11 Jan 2023

Trial begins for combined Covid-19 and flu vaccine

11:23 am on 11 January 2023
The vaccine roll-out for 5 to 11-year-olds started on Monday after Medsafe approved the Pfizer paediatric vaccination last month.

There are 1600 people undergoing the trial in Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Getty Picture Alliance

A Wellington medical company is running a trial of a combined vaccine for both flu and Covid-19.

P3 Research managing director Richard Stubbs believes the combined vaccine will reduce the workload for healthcare services.

Stubbs told Morning Report the aim was to make things as convenient as possible - both for health professionals and patients.

"This is a lengthy process, there is incremental knowledge achieved with all new treatment programmes.

"We know that the flu vaccines are effective, we know that Covid vaccines are effective and we know that probably they can be given together but we don't know the optimum doses."

The trial was taking place at nine different sites in New Zealand plus various sites in Australia, and would include 1600 people across both countries which both have a very good reputation for clinical trials, Stubbs said.

People taking part in the trial would be seen five times and undergo a lengthy process that involved health checks, he said.

"It's a well regulated process, there's a lot designed to see individuals know what is asked of them and that they can be reassured by any or all safety aspects for the trial so it's not a fast process."

Stubbs expected the flu and Covid vaccines would be given together in the next one or two years.

A Medsafe data sheet on the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine states that no interaction studies have been performed yet. 

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