I anticipate in the next year or so, we’re going to see a lot of variants. But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with flu. — Stephane Bancel, Moderna CEO
I anticipate in the next year or so, we’re going to see a lot of variants. But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with flu. — Stephane Bancel, Moderna CEO
Moderna hopes to have Covid booster shot for its vaccine ready by the fall, CEO says
  • Moderna hopes to have a Covid booster shot available for Americans by the fall, according to CEO Stephane Bancel.
  • Last month, the NIH began testing a variety of offerings from Moderna to use as a third shot as concern grows about emerging variants.
  • The Massachusetts-based biotech firm expects to submit booster shot data to U.S. regulators within a few months, Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration’s approach to authorizing modified Covid vaccines is similar to that of annual flu vaccines, meaning they could be cleared for emergency use without lengthy clinical trials.

Bancel’s comments came one day after Moderna announced its existing vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against Covid up to six months after the second dose. It was more than 95% effective against severe disease within that same time frame, the biotech firm said in its update, which could bring it closer to obtaining full regulatory approval.

There are currently 453 reported cases in the U.S. involving the B.1.351 variant, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That variant, in particular, has concerned public health experts. It’s been shown to reduce the effectiveness of existing Covid vaccines, including from Moderna.

Bancel on Wednesday reiterated his belief that annual Covid vaccine boosters will be commonplace going forward, saying the coronavirus “is not going away” and it’s “not leaving the planet.”

“I anticipate in the next year or so, we’re going to see a lot of variants. But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with flu,” he said.

Eventually, Bancel added, Moderna hopes to be able to have a two-in-one vaccine of sorts that protects against seasonal flu and Covid. The company in September announced its intentions to make a flu vaccine.

“What we’re trying to do at Moderna actually is to get a flu vaccine in the clinic this year and then combine our flu vaccine to our Covid vaccine so you only have to get one boost at your local CVS store ... every year that would protect you to the variant of concern against Covid and the seasonal flu strain,” Bancel said.

“We believe we can get to a high efficacy flu vaccine,” he added. On any given year, current flu vaccines are roughly between 40% and 60% effective, according to the CDC.
Read the full article: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/14/covid-vaccine-moderna-hopes-to-have-booster-shot-ready-by-the-fall-says-ceo.html