COVID vaccine chief thinks pandemic will be over in a year

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2 min read
TOPSHOT - A woman receives a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, donated to Indonesia by the US, during a booster vaccination drive in Barona Jaya on the outskirts of Banda Aceh on August 13, 2021. (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP) (Photo by CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman receives a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Indonesia. Moderna's chief has said the pandemic will be over in a year thanks to global supplies of jabs. (AFP via Getty Images)

The boss of coronavirus vaccine manufacturer Moderna has said the pandemic could be over in a year.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung, chief executive Stéphane Bancel said increased production of jabs will ensure global supplies.

He said: “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."

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Vaccinations would soon be available even for infants, he said.

He went on: “Those who do not get vaccinated will immunise 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."

Asked if that meant a return to normal in the second half of next year, he said: "As of today, in a year, I assume."

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It comes after Dame Sarah Gilbert, who helped develop the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, said: “We tend to see slow genetic drift of the virus and there will be gradual immunity developing in the population as there is to all the other seasonal coronaviruses.”

Seasonal coronaviruses cause colds, and Dame Sarah said: “Eventually Sars-CoV-2 will become one of those.”

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