As more people in the US and around the world receive the COVID vaccine for the first time, many are feeling hopeful that the global pandemic will finally end in the coming months. But the rise in virus variants that can make current vaccines less effective has forced experts to wonder how often we will need to immunize against the new coronavirus in the future, including executives at the companies that developed them. And according to the CEO of Moderna Stéphane Bancel, we will likely need a COVID vaccine booster annually, but it may be part of another annual medical ritual, he said recently. Forbes. Read on to see what you think vaccines will look like in the future, and for more information on what to avoid after getting your shots, see Don’t do this until one month after your COVID vaccination, experts warn.
As a director of one of the first companies to successfully develop a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, Bancel discussed the emergence of new variants of the virus and how the medical community will handle the virus in the future. He admitted that an annual or semi-annual vaccine would likely be used to keep it at bay, as are current practices for other diseases.
“You can end up with something like the flu where every year, every two years, you need a boost,” Bancel said. Forbes. He also said that Moderna had already submitted a newer version of the vaccine focused on the South African variant B.1.351 to the National Institutes of Health for analysis and that another version that can be stored at standard refrigerator temperature has already begun trials. clinical
But the executive also recently announced that the annual vaccination process could be a bit different thanks to newly developed products. During an appearance in Wall Street Journal Health Forum On March 23, Bancel said Moderna was currently working on a single annual vaccine that would not only attack both the flu and COVID, but would also raise the effectiveness of the flu vaccine from the current range of 30 to 60 percent to 90 percent. Still, he admitted that the official approval process could take years, unlike the swift change given to the current vaccine by regulators.
“Today, the vaccines that we have for seasonal flu are good in a great year, and they are pretty bad in a bad year, in terms of efficacy,” he said. “It is not impossible that in a couple of years we will have the product I just talked about, a highly effective seasonal influenza vaccine and a COVID vaccine, for you in your pharmacy every year.” And for more information on what you still shouldn’t do after getting your shots, see Dr. Fauci just said you should avoid this place, even if you’re vaccinated.
This is not the first time the chief pharmaceutical executive has admitted that he believes COVID will remain an enemy for some time to come. In January, CNBC reported that during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, Bancel predicted what he believed the future of COVID would be post-pandemic.
“SARS-CoV-2 is not going away,” Bancel said, suggesting that the virus would become “endemic” and circulate permanently at low levels, while rarely causing serious illness. “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever.”
Bancel is also not alone in his belief that COVID injections could become an annual event. During an interview with NBC News’ Lester holt in February, the CEO of Pfizer Albert bourla discussed ongoing trials for a possible third dose of his company’s vaccine to make it more effective against mutated versions of the virus, including the highly transmissible South African variant. He noted that such mutations should be expected from any virus and that is why annual injections are required for other diseases.
“Every year, you should go get a flu shot,” Bourla said. “It’s going to be the same with COVID. In a year, you will have to go get your annual vaccination so that COVID is protected.” And for more information on immunizations, see Pfizer Vaccine May Be Less Effective If You Have This Common Condition.