Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said on Thursday he thinks the coronavirus pandemic could be over in a year.
Speaking to the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung and quoted by Reuters, Bancel said, “If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required.”
Vaccinations would soon be available even for infants, he said.
“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital,” said Bancel.
Asked if that meant a return to normal in the second half of next year, he replied, “As of today, in a year, I assume.”
Bancel said he expected governments to approve booster shots for people already vaccinated because patients at risk who were vaccinated last fall “undoubtedly” needed a refresher.
He further said that Moderna can use existing production lines for the new variants as for the original COVID-19 vaccine. The price of vaccination will stay the same, he added.