Only older and vulnerable people need to get an annual Covid booster, according to the head of Covid vaccine manufacturer Moderna, who also likened the virus to seasonal flu. The Mail has the story.
Stéphane Bancel said his company’s shots should mainly be targeted at over-50s and people with underlying health conditions. His comments seem to be at odds with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) which is urging everyone over the age of five to get boosted.
Covid is now predominantly only killing the most vulnerable because the U.S. has built up strong immunity through high infection rates and repeated vaccine rollouts. There are currently around 300 deaths from the virus across the country every day, compared to more than 1,000 this time last year.
Mr. Bancel told a finance conference on Monday: “I think it’s going to be like the flu. If you’re a 25-year-old, do you need an annual booster every year if you’re healthy? You might want to… but I think it’s going to be similar to flu where it’s going to be people at high-risk, people above 50 years of age, people with comorbidities, people with cancer and other conditions, people with transplants.”
Mr. Bancel’s comments come amid a sluggish vaccine booster rollout that has seen just one in 20 eligible Americans taking up their Omicron-specific shot.
Despite there being little appetite for the new vaccines, the CDC last week approved Moderna and Pfizer’s shot for children as young as five.
Pfizer recently joined forces with Marvel for a PR campaign that appeared to target children.
But Mr. Bancel said it was “very important to think about” whether or not to get Covid boosters. He said there are around “1.5billion people” globally who would fall into the vulnerable category. But he emphasised that younger people “are going to have to decide for themselves what they want to do”.
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