The fourth dose of the Covid vaccine will likely be needed, highlighting fall 2022. This was stated by Stefan Bancel, CEO of Moderna, one of the manufacturers of the mRna vaccine. The efficacy of the booster dose is expected to decrease over the course of months, as it did after the two doses of a regular vaccination cycle. “I would be surprised to receive data in the coming weeks on which the ‘boost potion’ is well established over time. I expect it won’t hold up well,” Bancel said – as reported by Cnbc – during an event organized by Goldman Sachs.
Several countries, including Great Britain and South Korea, are already requiring round four vaccine doses. “I think we will need boosters in the fall of 2022 and beyond,” he says, referring to the need for annual boosters for the elderly and frail. The CEO adds, “We said, as per our beliefs, that this virus will not go away. We will have to live with it.”
The emergence of the Omicron variant on the scene could accelerate the transition from the acute phase to the endemic phase of the crisis. At the same time, Bansel points out the need for caution: the latter figure surprised the scientific community and may repeat the situation itself. “It’s absolutely impossible to predict whether a new replacement will come in a day, or a week, or 3 months. And whether it’s worse in terms of disease severity. You just have to be careful.”
In December, Moderna published a preliminary study showing that a booster dose of 50 mcg increases antibodies to the Omicron variant 37 times. At a dose of 100 mcg, 83 times. Data collected by the UK Health Security Agency in Great Britain show that, after 20 weeks of a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, the efficacy against Omicron-induced cross-infection drops to 10%. The same report states that protection rises to 75% after two weeks of a booster dose. However, effectiveness begins to decline after 4 weeks. For this reason, the fourth dose hypothesis is tangible according to Bancel. Albert Burla, CEO of Pfizer recently, also noted the need for the fourth dose and also suggested a shorter period of time to counteract the effects of Omicron.
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