Online discussions of combination flu-COVID-19 vaccine turns negative

On June 10, Moderna reported positive results from a late-stage clinical trial of a combination mRNA-based flu and COVID-19 vaccine for adults 50 and older. Many online users expressed skepticism about the vaccine, with some declaring that they would never take it. Other posts went further, claiming that they would refuse all vaccines after COVID-19.

Recommendation: Online conversations about Moderna’s flu-COVID-19 vaccine provide an opportunity for health agencies, community-based organizations, and other partners to highlight the importance and safety of flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines. Messaging may emphasize that flu vaccines prevent flu infection and reduce the risk of severe illness and death from the flu. Getting this season’s flu vaccine is especially important for pregnant people, children, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions. Staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, long COVID, and death. All vaccines are rigorously tested and determined to be safe before becoming available to the public. If responding directly to questions about Moderna’s flu-COVID-19 vaccine, messaging may emphasize that the vaccine will be subject to the same rigorous clinical trial process that all vaccines undergo before approval. Combination vaccines, like those for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), and for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTAP), are common and safe.