The latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and the Omicron variant
More people may need a fourth dose of a Covid-19 vaccine this fall, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said on Thursday as booster doses are likely to become less effective over time.
I still think we’ll need boosters in Fall 22 and beyond, ”Bancel said at a Goldman Sachs CEO conference in the healthcare industry.
A preliminary Israeli study has found that a fourth dose of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine increases coronavirus antibodies five-fold in one week. People aged 60 and over, healthcare workers and people with weakened immune systems are eligible for the fourth dose in this country.
The Canadian province of Ontario will offer fourth doses to people in facilities such as long-term care homes and retirement homes.
Pfizer chief medical officer Paul Burton warned last month that “we’ll have to wait a few more months, until we can see how this data develops and matures, to understand when that extra booster dose – if necessary – – must be given.
Medical experts have also advised caution about expanding vaccination programs.
“We cannot immunize the planet every four to six months. It’s neither sustainable nor affordable, ”Professor Andrew Pollard of the Oxford Vaccine Group, head of the UK Committee on Immunization and Immunization, who helped create the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, told the Daily Telegraph in a published interview. Tuesday.
In a separate interview with Sky News on Tuesday, Pollard also cited the blatant inequality in vaccine deployments across the world.
“And remember that today less than 10% of people in low-income countries have even received their first dose, so the idea of regular fourth doses around the world just doesn’t make sense,” did he declare.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on December 24 that it was too early to discuss a potential fourth dose for most people.
“One of the things we’re going to be watching very closely is the durability of protection after the third dose of an mRNA vaccine,” Fauci told Michael Wallace and Steve Scott of WCBS Newsradio 880. Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech are mRNA vaccines.
“If the protection is much longer lasting than the unboosted two-dose group, then we can go a significant period of time without requiring a fourth dose,” Fauci said. “So I think it’s premature – at least for the United States – to talk about a fourth dose.”
Moderna is also developing Covid-19 boosters that specifically target coronavirus variants like Delta and Omicron.