Fourth vaccine may be needed in the fall, Moderna exec claims

Boosters given over the past few months will protect those vaccinated through this winter, but their effectiveness could dip by Fall 2022.

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At a healthcare conference hosted by Goldman Sachs, the CEO of Moderna said front-line workers and people 50 and older may need a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine later this year. 

Booster shots given over the past few months will reportedly protect those vaccinated through this winter, but their effectiveness could dip by Fall 2022, Stéphane Bancel said, according to The Washington Post.

“I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time,” Bancel reportedly told Healthcare CEO Conference 2022 attendees. “I would expect that it’s not going to hold great.”

Medical personnel give coronavirus booster vaccinations late last month. A fourth COVID-19 vaccine — increased from two standard shots and a booster — may be required come this fall. (Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

“I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward,” Bancel added, according to The New York Post

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

Meanwhile, a study out of Israel also found that a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine increased antibodies five-fold in those who received it. 

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the preliminary results of that study showed “a very high likelihood that the fourth dose will protect vaccinated people to a great degree against infection to some degree and against severe symptoms.”

This week, Israel started making the second-booster dose available to anyone 60 and older who had their last one more than four months ago.

However, other countries are pushing back against the idea of shortening the period between booster shots. “We can’t vaccinate the planet every four to six months,” said Andrew Pollard, chairman of Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, in an interview with The Telegraph. “It’s not sustainable or affordable. In the future, we need to target the vulnerable.”

Our World in Data, which tracks COVID-19 vaccinations around the world, notes that as of Wednesday, 205 million Americans are fully vaccinated, which accounts for 62.3% of the population. According to their data, California is the most inoculated state in the nation, with 66.6% of its population fully vaccinated. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that while there is a disparity between Blacks and whites who have been vaccinated, that gap is closing. According to their data from 42 states, 58% of whites have been vaccinated, compared to 56% of Blacks. 

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