Moderna CEO sees pandemic over in a year – newspaper

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The Walmart pharmacist holds a vial of the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a Walmart department store in West Haven, Connecticut, United States, February 17, 2021. REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo

ZURICH, September 23 (Reuters) РModerna Inc (MRNA.O) chief executive St̩phane Bancel believes the coronavirus pandemic could be over in a year as increased vaccine production secures global supply , he told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung.

“If you look at the expansion of industry-wide production capacity over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year for everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent necessary, “he told the newspaper in an interview.

Vaccines would soon be available, even for infants, he said.

“Those who don’t get the vaccine will get immunized naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. That way we’ll end up in a flu-like situation. You can either get the shot and have a good winter. Or you don’t and risk getting sick and maybe even ending up in the hospital. “

When asked if this meant a return to normal in the second half of next year, he replied, “From today, in a year, I guess.”

Bancel said he expected governments to approve the booster shots for those already vaccinated because at-risk patients who were vaccinated last fall “definitely” needed a booster.

His booster shot was half the original dose, which meant more of them would be available.

“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.

The composition of the booster shot remains the same as the original for this year because Moderna had not had time to change it.

“We are currently testing variants optimized for Delta in clinical trials. They will form the basis of the booster vaccination for 2022. We are also trying Delta plus Beta, the next mutation scientists think is likely.”

Moderna can use existing production lines for new variants as well as for the original COVID-19 vaccine. The price of the vaccination will remain the same, he said.

(This story has been passed on to remove the superfluous word in the second paragraph)

Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Robert Birsel

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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