Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel told a Swiss newspaper he believed the COVID-19 pandemic could be over next year.
“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,” he told Neue Zuercher Zeitung.
He added: “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.”
The pharmaceutical executive said that vaccines will soon be ready for children under 12 and infants.
Additionally, he told the newspaper that those who were vaccinated last fall will more than likely need a booster shot. Booster shots are a half dose of the vaccine and therefore could be more widely available.
“The composition of the booster shot remains the same as the original for this year because Moderna had not had enough time to change it,” reports Reuters. “Moderna can use existing production lines for the new variants as for the original COVID-19 vaccine.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Moderna an emergency use authorization for its vaccines for Americans over the age of 18. The company has applied to have its vaccine authorized for those ages 12 to 17.
According to Fox Business, “Moderna has dispensed millions of doses of its vaccine thus far and global vaccine data shows that almost 44% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Unlike its competitor Pfizer, Moderna has not yet been fully authorized by the FDA.
Forbes called Bancel’s prediction “ambitious” because “only 2% of people in low-income countries have received a vaccine dose.”
Just under 44% of the world’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, per Our World In Data.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 150 doses of the Moderna vaccination has been administered in the United States so far. In total, 182.4 million people have been fully vaccinated.