Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has said the novel coronavirus, which has hamstrung global economies, will never disappear and could be around "forever". "We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever," Bancel said at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.
He added, "SARS-CoV-2 is not going away," according to a CNBC report. Citing public healthcare and infectious diseases experts, Bancel also said that there are high chances of COVID-19 becoming an endemic disease, which means the infection will be present at all times albeit at lower levels compared to what it is now.
He said that public healthcare officials will always have to be on the lookout for new variants of COVID-19 so that vaccines can be produced to combat these. Several new variants of the contagion have been detected, with the UK variant being more infectious. Another variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in Japan.
Bancel claimed that immunity from the coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna, which recently received emergency use approval (EUA) in the UK and the US, is likely to last for at least one year.
The drug maker also projected vaccine-related sales worth $11.7 billion for 2021. The shot, mRNA-1273, uses synthetic mRNA to mimic the surface of the coronavirus so the immune system can recognise and neutralise it.