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Moderna chief executive says pandemic could be over in a year

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Coronavirus virus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D render

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2021. 11:00 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Moderna Inc Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic could be over in a year’s time.

Reuters reported that Bancel told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung that increased production of vaccines, application of boosters, and vaccination of infants, coupled with natural immunization could make COVID-19 similar to the flu.

“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally because the Delta variant is so contagious,” Bancel said.

“In this way, we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital.”

Bancel said that going by the current expansion of vaccine production there should be enough doses by mid-2022 so that everyone on earth gets vaccinated. He said he expects that governments will approve boosters because those people who got vaccinated late last year need them now.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved boosters for people over 65 years of age, people at high risk of severe disease, and frontline workers.

Bancel said boosters should only require half the original dose adding that right now the composition of the Moderna booster remains the same as the original because Moderna didn’t have time to change it. That, however, should change and more vaccines will be available once the booters are half the dose.

“The volume of vaccine is the biggest limiting factor. With half the dose, we would have 3 billion doses available worldwide for the coming year instead of just 2 billion,” he said.

Bancel said Moderna is currently testing Delta-optimized variants in clinical trials as they will form the basis for the booster vaccination for 2022.

 

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