Moderna CEO Says Omicron Variant To Likely Hit COVID-19 Vaccines Effectiveness: FT
Moderna Inc's (NASDAQ: MRNA) CEO Stéphane Bancel said COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, sparking fresh worry in financial markets about the trajectory of the pandemic.
- "There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level . . . we had with Delta," Stéphane Bancel told the Financial Times in an interview.
- "I think it's going to be a material drop. I just don't know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I've talked to...are like 'this is not going to be good.'"
- Vaccine resistance could lead to more sickness and hospitalizations and prolong the pandemic.
- Bancel added that the scientists were worried about a high number of mutations on the spike protein, which current vaccines focus on to combat COVID-19.
- Scott Gottlieb, a director of Pfizer and former commissioner of FDA, told CNBC: "There's a reasonable degree of confidence in vaccine circles that [with] at least three doses . . . the patient is going to have fairly good protection against this variant."
- Bancel said it would take several months before an Omicron-specific vaccine could be produced at scale. He predicted Moderna could make about 2 billion - 3 billion doses in 2022.
- Price Action: MRNA shares are down 2.32% at $359.95 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.