Moderna Inc’s chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel has said that he believes the coronavirus pandemic could be over in a year. According to him, there would be enough vaccines for “everyone on this earth.” He likened a future with the virus to that of a flu season.
‘COVID-19 will be like the flu,’ says Moderna CEO
“We will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu,” Bancel said, as he predicted that future within the next 12 months, Reuters reported. “You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even end[ing] up in hospital.”
He cited how the big pharmaceutical companies, Moderna included, have been ramping up the production of the COVID-19 vaccines so there will be enough to jab everyone around the world, including the low-income nations that are waiting to be inoculated.
“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated,” he said.
He said that with the current vaccination pace, he thinks that everything will be back to normal by mid-2022 and that the feared COVID-19 will be nothing more than just like the flu by then.
Why we need booster shots: Stéphane Bancel explains
Meanwhile, Bancel, along with the other pharmaceutical companies carrying the COVID-19 vaccine, urges governments to approve booster shots for people already vaccinated because the patients at risk who were vaccinated last autumn would “undoubtedly” need a refresher.
“Boosters should also be possible to the extent required,” he shared.
He claimed that the Moderna booster shot will not only be Delta-optimized but will also work against what they believe would be the next mutation, Delta plus Beta, as they have had enough time to complete trials for an adapted version of the vaccine.
“We are currently testing Delta-optimized variants in clinical trials. They will form the basis for the booster vaccination for 2022. We are also trying out Delta plus Beta, the next mutation that scientists believe is likely.”
Moderna’s booster shots will contain just half of the original volume — 50 micrograms — as compared to the 100-microgram original doses.
Bancel also categorically claimed that a safe COVID-19 vaccine would soon be available even for infants.