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It Is ‘Reasonable’ To Expect Pandemic Is Towards Its End Stage, Says Moderna CEO

It Is ‘Reasonable’ To Expect Pandemic Is Towards Its End Stage, Says Moderna CEO
It is now “reasonable” to consider that the world could be close to the final stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel.
“I think that is a reasonable scenario,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” when asked about views that the Covid-19 pandemic may now be in its final stages.
“There’s an 80% chance that as omicron evolves or SarsCov-2 virus evolves, we are going to see less and less virulent viruses,” he said Wednesday. 
There is an additional “20% scenario where we see a next mutation, which is more virulent than omicron,” he added.
“I think we got lucky as a world that omicron was not very virulent, but still are we see thousands of people dying every day around the planet because of omicron,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization, 15.47 million new Covid-19 infections were reported globally in the last seven days, with 73,162 deaths.
According to some research, while the omicron version looks to be more contagious, it does not make individuals sick as much as the delta variety.
Health officials have also stated that the threat posed by omicron may be diminishing.
However, the World Health Organization's director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned in January that assuming the pandemic is nearing its finale is risky. In fact, he claims it's "far from over," warning that as omicron spreads fast over the world, other variations will inevitably develop.
Moderna said in January that it has begun a clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a booster shot that targets the omicron variety.
According to the business, the first participant in the trial has already received a dosage of the omicron-specific booster shot. It aims to enrol roughly 600 adults, ages 18 and above, who will be split into two groups.
Moderna, on the other hand, has declared plans to extend its footprint in Asia.
“The reason we want to expand in Asia is the importance of that region,” he said in an interview to CNBC.
“The fact that this virus is not going away, as we’ve been saying since almost the beginning — this virus is going to stay with humans forever, like flu and we’d have to live with it.”
Bancel described Asia's economic boom as "extremely exciting," adding that the business plans to expand in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Moderna said in a statement that it is expanding to "continue to scale up the manufacturing and distribution of its Covid-19 vaccine and future mRNA vaccines and medicines."
In Hong Kong, where Covid instances have lately increased, Moderna's messenger RNA vaccine is presently unavailable. The corporation is currently "working with authorities to get it authorized," according to Bancel.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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