Covid: what is the new bivalent vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer, how effective, for whom, by when?

Covid: what is the new bivalent vaccine from Moderna and Pfizer, how effective, for whom, by when?

The “new generation” anti-Covid vaccines are to be used for the vaccination campaign that will start in the fall in France.

They are advertised as the “new generation” anti-Covid vaccines that will make it possible to combat the pandemic more effectively.

Bivalent vaccines that attack both the ancestral strain of the virus responsible for Covid and its Omicron variant for superior and long-lasting protection.

The famous messenger RNA technology

Both Moderna and Pfizer have returned to using the messenger RNA technology which allows to inject copies of the virus but completely harmless in the cells so that they transmit information in order to produce proteins to protect themselves from Covid.

“With messenger RNA vaccines, the idea is to let our own cells manufacture the component against which our body will learn to defend itself,” says Inserm.

And although the researcher and infectologist Karine Lacombe was quite reassuring this Wednesday, September 14, during a conference by declaring that after more than two years, “We are coming out of the pandemic”, he specifies: “But not from the endemic”.

“And the vaccine is one of the pillars of the fight against Covid,” he added.

New 2-in-1 vaccines

But having mutated the virus, it was necessary to adapt the vaccine to the Omicron variants (which was not the case until then), so that it would be even more effective in attacking the dominant and circulating variants.

Therefore, the researcher explained that “The effectiveness of this new vaccine depends on the circulating strain, the closer the circulating strain is to the variant targeted by the vaccine, the more effective the vaccine will be.

Therefore, Moderna and Pfizer laboratories have developed their initial vaccine and have developed the so-called bivalent vaccine that combines two strains of the virus, one strand encoding the ancestral strain and another strand encoding the Omicron strain.

Higher and longer lasting efficiency

The results that emerge from the data are conclusive. Although the bivalent vaccine was originally manufactured with Omicron’s BA.1 strain, the the serum is very effective in the BA.1 (which is no longer the dominant one in France), but also according to Arnaud Chéret medical director Moderna France in the variants BA.4 and BA.5.

“With the vaccine that targets the Omicron subvariant, BA.1, we have significant efficacy across all Omicron variants.”

By the way Pfizer has already launched a bivalent vaccine combining the ancestral strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 variants and Moderna intends to do so as well.

But for Moderna it will not be the proposal for the moment during the vaccination campaign that will open in the fall.

And the novelty that this “new generation” vaccine also brings is its “sustainability”. Protection against the virus is longer with the bivalent vaccine.


The two bivalent vaccines offered by Moderna and Pfizer targeting the BA.1 subvariant were, on September 1, authorized by the European Medicines Agency, the EEMA.

And this Monday, September 12, the regulator also approved Pfizer’s vaccine targeting the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. There are therefore three authorized bivalent vaccines, two from Pfizer and one from Moderna at the moment.


Sandra Fournier, General Director France of Moderna announced this Wednesday, September 14: “Everything is ready. The doses are in French territory. There’s no more await authorization from the High Health Authorityso that the doses arrive very quickly at the pharmacies”.

This vaccine approved at European level From the age of 12 as a booster dose, it will be available in pharmacies in a bottle of 5 doses.

With the flu vaccination campaign starting October 18booster doses will be encouraged for eligible individuals.

But at the moment a precise date of placing on the market has not been advanced.

Who will be affected?

In the opinion of the Scientific Council of July 19, this vaccination “could be open to people under 60 years of age from the fall.”

Today, people eligible for a fourth dose are those over 60 years of age whose last injection was more than six months ago, pregnant women, and all people at risk.

Annual reminder?

And the reminders… How many reminders of these vaccines are planned?

Arnaud Chéret of Moderna, like Karine Lacombe, both have yearly boosters as for the flu virus.

In fact, with these “new generation” vaccines the duration of protection is longer. It will only be necessary to adapt the serum each year to the variant in circulation.

A vaccine that combines flu and covid in clinical trials

Also, to make reminders easy, Moderna has already made good progress on an upcoming vaccine that combines protection against influenza and against the Covid virus.

A single annual dose for optimal protection.

But the serum made by Moderna is currently entering clinical trials.

Moderna’s complaint against Pfizer

Recall that at the end of August, Moderna filed a complaint against Pfizer for patent infringement on essential technologies for its messenger RNA vaccine against Covid-19. . In a press release, the laboratory specifies: “Moderna is convinced that Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine against Covid-19 infringes patents filed by Moderna between 2010 and 2016.”

Moderna thus accuses the competitor laboratory of having copied two of his patents he deposited long before Covid, one in 2010, the other in 2016, to make his messenger RNA vaccine.

But Moderna does not want Pfizer to withdraw its vaccine from the market. The company asks for financial compensation.

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