Story at a glance

  • “I want to make sure there are boost vaccines available in the fall so that we protect people as we go into the next fall and winter season in the U.S.,” Bancel told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
  • The National Institutes of Health last month began testing booster shots from Moderna against the variant first identified in South Africa.
  • Bancel’s booster prediction comes one day after the company announced their two-dose mRNA vaccine was 90 percent effective six months after a person received the second dose.

Moderna is aiming to provide booster shots for protection against COVID-19 variants by the fall. 

During an interview Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the Massachusetts-based biotech firm could submit data on its booster shots to federal regulators in the coming months as it has shown to provide a high level of protection against variants. 


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“I want to make sure there are boost vaccines available in the fall so that we protect people as we go into the next fall and winter season in the U.S.,” Bancel told CNBC. 

“I anticipate in the next year or so, we’re going to see a lot of variants. But as more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with flu,” Bancel said. 

The National Institutes of Health last month began testing booster shots from Moderna against the variant first identified in South Africa that has given public health officials cause for concern compared with previous strains of the virus. 

The B.1.351 variant appears to be more contagious and could possibly evade some of the protections generated by therapeutics and vaccines, although evidence has shown current vaccines provide an adequate degree of protection against variants. 

Bancel also told CNBC Moderna wants to eventually have a vaccine that protects against both the seasonal flu and COVID-19. 

“That would protect you to the variant of concern against Covid and the seasonal flu strain,” he said. 

Bancel’s booster prediction comes one day after the company announced their two-dose mRNA vaccine was 90 percent effective six months after a person received the second dose. Moderna is working on getting full approval for the vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration as it has only received emergency use authorization.


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Published on Apr 14, 2021