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COVID: Pfizer and BioNTech study efficacy of combo COVID-flu vaccine

Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani discusses Pfizer and BioNTech's study of a combination COVID and flu vaccine, plus the availability of COVID-flu tests at Quest Diagnostics.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: All right, turning to the healthcare industry, Pfizer and BioNTech have started evaluating a combination COVID flu vaccine. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joining us now with the details. And Anj, what can you tell us about this? Because it sounds like it would be much more convenient for anyone out there who needs to get vaccinated in the future.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. You won't need two arms.

SEANA SMITH: Exactly.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Yeah, so Pfizer, BioNTech announcing that they're just starting the phase I, II clinical trials of their vaccine. BioNTech leading this and sponsoring that clinical trial. They are a little bit behind in the game. Novavax has already announced positive results from a phase I, II trial, but this is just adding to another COVID race, basically. We do know that Moderna is also looking at this area with a candidate still in preclinical testing and development.

So they're also a little bit behind there, but that really is the new frontier. The COVID vaccine companies are able to leverage what they've developed and add on to it the flu, which we know if all predictions come true and we do have to deal with this annually, that's going to be a pretty useful vaccine candidate.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: And Anjalee, I understand that Quest Diagnostics is out with some good news now on virus testing. What's happening there?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That's right. Speaking of combo flu and COVID, Quest has also announced now that they have a test for both that patients can access in about 16,000-- 1,600 locations, sorry-- of their patient centers. And this, of course, helps with the turnaround for testing both throughout the season. We know right now, we're facing both of these diseases at the same time.

And in the coming months, they expect that to go up. Their testing capacity for COVID has increased, and we just recently talked to outgoing Quest Diagnostics CEO Steve Rusckowski about their capacity of 300,000 tests per day capacity. So I'm sure that is going to play a role as well in how this all plays out.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Indeed, and just in time for the winter months. Anjalee Khemlani, thank you so much.