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Tipsheet

Moderna CEO Says Fourth Vaccine Dose May Be Needed Next Fall

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday that individuals may need a fourth shot of the Wuhan coronavirus vaccine, CNBC reported. 

Bancel reportedly made the remarks while speaking with Goldman Sachs at a health care CEO conference. In the discussion, he noted that the efficacy of booster shots will decline over time. Because of this, he said those who received a booster dose this past fall will likely need another come fall 2022. 

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“Bancel said people who received their boosters last fall will likely have enough protection to get them through the winter, when new infections surge as people gather indoors to escape the cold.

However, Bancel said the efficacy of boosters will probably decline over the course of several months, similar to what happened with the first two doses. The Moderna chief was interviewed by Goldman Sachs during the investment bank’s health-care CEO conference.

‘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,’ Bancel said, referring to the strength of the booster shots.”

Bancel added in the discussion that governments in the United Kingdom and South Korea have already ordered doses in preparation. 

CNBC noted that a study published by the U.K. Health Security Agency found that booster doses are up to 75 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections two weeks after receiving the shot. However, the efficacy of the booster shot begins to decline after roughly four weeks. 

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"I still believe we're going to need boosters in the fall of '22 and forward," Bancel said in the interview. He mentioned that a mutation of the virus could change the course of the pandemic again. 

"We have been saying that we believe first this virus is not going away," he added. "We're going to have to live with it." 

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