Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COVID-19 vaccine maker, Moderna, Stephane Bancel, has warned that the novel coronavirus that has brought world economies to a standstill and overwhelmed health systems will be around “forever.”
In the past, public health officials and infectious disease experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease. This means it will become present in communities at all times, though likely at lower levels than it is now.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on Wednesday, Bancel appeared to agree that Covid-19 will become endemic.
He stated that “SARS-CoV-2 is not going away,” adding that, “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever.”
The Moderna CEO noted that health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them.
Moderna’s vaccine has been authorised by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in Americans who are 18 years old and older.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 92 million people and killed almost 2 million people, although over 66 million have recovered.