With governments around the world debating whether to authorise Covid-19 vaccine booster doses, Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan envisions a time when the shot could become routine.
“Public health officials are going to have to decide if everybody should get a booster shot,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV today.
“My guess is that given enough time, we may well end up in a situation where we have, let’s say at a minimum, yearly vaccinations, just like the flu,” said Afeyan, who also serves as chairman.
Afeyan said the company is hoping in the next couple of months for full U.S. approval for its Covid-19 vaccine, which is currently authorised for emergency use. The company is testing a half-dose booster that “seems to be extremely effective,” he said.
The NHS is planning to roll out a Covid-19 booster programme from September, giving those most at risk from coronavirus extra protection ahead of winter. Though this remains dependent on results from clinical trials.
As coronavirus spreads and mutates, it can start to resist vaccines. A booster programme could offer extra protection against variants that have resistance to existing vaccines.
We also still don’t know how long protection from the Covid-19 vaccines lasts. So, a booster dose may be needed to ensure those at higher risk from coronavirus, have enough protection going into winter.