Covid-19 immunity of the booster dose to wane over time and fourth dose will probably be needed in the fall, Moderna’s CEO explains

It looks like we are still far away from the end of the Covid-19 pandemic as the number of new cases is reaching record high values in the last couple of days in almost every single state across United States. Although none of the currently available vaccines offer 100% protection of getting infected, vaccination still remains the best weapon the humanity has in battling the deadly virus.

The fully vaccinated and those with natural immunity can still contract the Omicron variant of the virus, but in majority of the cases these groups of people will develop only mild symptoms or will just test positive and remain asymptomatic.

According to health experts and the most recent data provided by several studies about the Omicron variant, those with third, booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccines are the most protected against the Omicron as the booster dose by far improves the much needed immunity to protect people getting infected with Omicron.

However, there are claims that the protection of the booster dose will wane over time and there are multiple ongoing studies which should reveal how long the booster dose will provide protection to those who decided to get ‘boosted’. Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel is among those claiming that the immunity of the booster is expected to wane over time and that we might need another, fourth dose later this year in the fall, when the risk of the virus will increase again.

Bancel said people who received their boosters last fall will likely have enough protection to get them through the winter, when new infections surge as people gather indoors to escape the cold.

In an interview with Goldman Sachs on Thursday, Bancel explained that he believes that the immunity will decline over the course of a few months, just like with the first two doses of the vaccines. That said, those who want to remain protected after the summer, will most probably have to take another, fourth shot of the Covid-19 vaccines.

“I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time — I would expect that it’s not going to hold great,” Bancel said, referring to the strength of the booster shots.

Bancel interview comes in a period when the country is reporting a record number of new cases, while hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and seek extra help with staffing since they are seeing a lot of Covid-19 positive cases among employees.

As we already reported, Moderna is working on an updated version of their vaccine that should work way better compared to the current one in battling all known Covid-19 variants so far, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The Moderna CEO said governments, including the U.K. and South Korea, are already ordering the doses in preparation. “I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward,” Bancel said, adding that people who are older or have underlying health conditions might need annual boosters for years to come.

“We have been saying that we believe first this virus is not going away,” Bancel said. “We’re going to have to live with it.”

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