Pandemic to endemic? Modern chair says it can happen this year | News about Coronavirus pandemic


Moderna co-founder tells Bloomberg News that 2022 could be the year the pandemic enters the endemic phase.

The pandemic may begin to move into an endemic phase in 2022, though countries will have to remain vigilant as the omicron variant spreads, according to Moderna Inc. co-founder Noubar Afeyan.

While some countries are slowly beginning to consider treating Covid as an endemic disease, like the flu, World Health Organization officials have said it is too early to make that call as cases increase.

“2022 may be the year the pandemic enters an endemic phase, but it really depends on what happens and the decisions that are made around the world,” Afeyan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Friday with Francine Lacqua. . Although omicron is highly transmissible, “on the other hand, it has a minor effect in terms of the severity of the disease,” he said.

Modern omicron-specific booster shots could be included in human trials within weeks, he said, reiterating comments made by CEO Stephane Bancel earlier this week. The CEO said he expected another booster would be needed in the fall and it will likely include a component tailored to omicron.

“We will be ready with our test starting in weeks,” Afeyan said Friday. “Whether we need a booster instead of the fall is something we’ll have to work with officials around the world to find out.”

Shares in Moderna fell 3.3% in pre-market trading in New York.

Moderna developed together with Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE high-efficiency Covid-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA technology. Moderna said earlier this week that it has signed $ 18.5 billion in vaccine purchases for this year, along with options for an additional $ 3.5 billion, including booster shots.

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