Moderna CEO says fourth vaccine dose could be needed in fall

Coronavirus

A health worker checks a box of the Moderna Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine donated by the US, during a booster vaccination drive at the Zainoel Abidin hospital in Banda Aceh on August 9, 2021. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP) (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)

(The Hill) — Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel on Thursday said people may need a fourth shot of the coronavirus vaccine in fall 2022, CNBC and other news outlets reported.

Bancel, while speaking at a health care event organized by Goldman Sachs, said that the booster efficacy will wane over time, similar to the first two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, he said people will likely have enough protection from their booster shot last fall to get them through the winter, CNBC added.

While referring to the strength of the booster shot he said, “I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time,” adding that “I would expect that it’s not going to hold great,” according to the news outlet.

“I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward,” Bancel said according to Reuters.

Bancel added that COVID is “not going away.”

“We’re going to have to live with it,” he said.

His comments echo Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who said in December that a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may eventually be needed amid concerns about the omicron variant.

For now, though, Pfizer said that three doses appear to provide good protection. 

The Israeli government is already offering a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to health care workers and individuals 60 years old and older in an effort to bolster protection amid the omicron wave of the pandemic.

Preliminary results published showed that a second booster dose saw a “five-fold increase in the number of antibodies in the vaccinated person,” according to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

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