The novel coronavirus which has brought chaos to the world and affected economies globally and will not disappear and hence, people would have to live with it, according to Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel.
He echoed comments from public health experts who said Covid-19 is likely going to become an endemic disease, meaning it will always be present in the population but circulating at lower rates than it is now.
During the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, Bancel said, “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever.”
The CEO also commented that health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them.
Recently, according to researchers in Ohio, they’ve detected two new variants probably originating in the US and that one of them became the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January.
Researchers of Pfizer said the vaccine developed in collaboration with BioNTech seemed to be effective against the key new strain in the UK and a variant found in South Africa.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for use in US citizens who are 18 years old and older. However, further studies on the vaccine are needed to be completed in children as their immune system can respond differently than adults.
Meanwhile, US officials are racing against time to distribute doses of both vaccines, but it will likely take months before the US can vaccinate enough people to achieve herd immunity.
According to the World Health Organization, there are already four coronaviruses that are endemic across the world, but are not as contagious or as deadly as Covid-19.