Confirming the fears of many Americans, the CEO of Moderna admitted this week that he thinks a second booster shot — or a fourth dose of his company’s vaccine overall — will soon be needed for an individual to get the maximum protection against COVID-19.
According to the New York Post, the comments from Moderna CEO Stephen Bancel came Thursday during a health care conference organized and sponsored by Goldman Sachs.
According to CNBC, Bancel spent some of his speaking time at the event discussing growing evidence that the efficacy of not just the initial two doses of his company’s vaccine, but also booster doses of it, would wane over time.
“I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time — I would expect that it’s not going to hold great,” he said.
A second booster?
With the vaccine proving to be less effective than initially believed, particularly against the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, the CEO declared his belief that “we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward.”
For older individuals and others at high risk of severe complications from the disease, more shots could be necessary, he warned, according to CNBC. “We have been saying that we believe first this virus is not going away,” Bancel added. “We’re going to have to live with it.”
According to the Post, Bancel also noted that Moderna is currently hard at work tailoring a new version of its booster shot to be more effective against omicron. Still, he cautioned that the rise of another new variant could throw a wrench in their progress.
“What is totally impossible to predict, is there a new mutation coming in a day, a week, three months, that is worse in terms of severity of disease,” Bancel said, according to CNBC. “That’s a piece that we’ll have to just be cautious about.”
“The fourth dose”
Bancel’s Thursday remarks echoed similar comments from Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, who spoke on the subject just one month ago.
According to The Hill, Bourla also expressed his belief that a second booster, or a fourth shot overall, would soon become necessary.
“I think we will need the fourth dose,” Bourla told CNBC in early December of his company’s mRNA vaccine, according to The Hill. “With omicron, we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need it faster.”
Needless to say, their remarks have prompted questions even from some on the left about the vaccine manufacturers’ vested financial interests in marketing additional shots to the American people.