Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna—one of the producers of the Covid-19 vaccine-warned on Wednesday that the coronavirus will be around “forever.” He mentioned it during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.
Coronavirus will likely be an endemic disease
An endemic disease is a disease that is present in communities at all times. In the case of the coronavirus, it would likely be at lower levels than it currently is.
Public health officials and infectious disease experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease.
Moderna CEO appeared to agree Wednesday that Covid-19 will become endemic, saying, “SARS-CoV-2 is not going away.”
“We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever,” he added during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.
Moderna’s vaccine has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in Americans who are 18 years old and older. Additional studies still needed to be completed in children, whose immune systems can respond differently to vaccines than those of adults.
Four strains of coronavirus are already endemic
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are already four coronaviruses that are endemic across the world, but they aren’t as contagious or deadly as Covid-19.
Health officials all over the world will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus. This will aid scientists in producing vaccines that will efficiently fight the virus.
Researchers in Ohio discovered two new variants presumed to have originated in the US on Wednesday. One of the two variants has been predicted to become the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January.
Pfizer researchers released in a statement that its vaccine developed with BioNTech appeared to be effective against a key mutation in the U.K. strain as well as a variant found in South Africa.