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Moderna CEO says people may need a fourth Covid vaccine jab this coming fall as the efficacy of the current booster likely wanes over time

People may need a fourth COVID-19 vaccine this coming fall.

Karwai Tang/Getty Images

  • The efficacy of current COVID-19 boosters are likely to wane over time, said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.
  • People will probably need a fourth vaccine shot in the fall of 2022, said Bancel.
  • The Omicron variant is sweeping across the world, spurring governments to push for booster shots.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said people may need a fourth vaccine shot in the fall of 2022 to boost their protection against COVID-19.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Healthcare CEO Conference on Thursday, Bancel said current boosters are likely to protect people through this winter amid a surge in the Omicron coronavirus variant. But their efficacy will probably wane in the months ahead.

“I would expect that it’s not gonna hold great,” Bancel said of the booster over time. “I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward.”

He added that those who are older, in higher-risk jobs, or who have underlying health issues may need boosters every year.

Bancel’s comments come as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps across the world, spurring governments to push for booster shots.

“We have been saying that we believe first this virus is not going away,” Bancel said,  “We’re going to have to live with it.”

Israel is now administering fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses to those above 60. Citing preliminary findings from an Israeli study, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that a fourth dose of the vaccine increases antibodies by five times a week after the jab, Reuters reported.  

Moderna shipped about 800 million COVID-19 vaccine doses globally last year, the company said in a letter to shareholders.

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