Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel recently compared COVID-19 vaccines and their mRNA technology to iPhones, claiming that vaccinated people will have to get an update on their shots every year as the virus continues to mutate.
During an interview with CNN business this week, Bancel stated that his corporation will “keep updating the vaccines” in hopes of rolling out “a single-dose annual booster to cover the coronavirus, the flu and another common respiratory virus within the next five years.”
“A lot of us buy a new iPhone every September, and you get new apps and you get refreshed apps,” Bancel explained. “That’s exactly the same idea, which is you’ll get Covid and flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] in your single dose.”
“We think we can put in a single product a lot of mRNAs, taking care of all of those viruses. And that’s once a year. You should be able to get an annual booster, a single dose, that has, in the vial, all those mRNAs for all those viruses that are, of course, adapted to the strain of a season like flu, like COVID strain, and so on,” Bancel said.
Forget taking two to three Covid shots a year. Moderna hopes to roll out a single-dose annual booster to cover the coronavirus, the flu and another common respiratory virus within the next five years. https://t.co/FrJM6cVZJG
— CNN (@CNN) August 11, 2022
Bancel believes that the COVID-19 virus will continue to spread, but noted that some people may choose to live with it similarly to the flu.
“I think we are slowly moving — if not already in some countries — to a world where all the tools are available, and everybody can make their own decision based on their risk tolerance.”
Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton told NBC News in March that, like computer software, people are “going to need an updated Covid vaccine this fall, one that’s ‘tuned to the right combination of variants.'”
“Delta is still there and Omicron is going to continue to be there as well,” Burton said. “These variants are now going to go into the Southern Hemisphere, where they’ll either continue to proliferate or they may mutate again.”
This comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their COVID-19 guidance earlier this week.
The agency is now instructing people not to quarantine themselves after being exposed to the virus, regardless of whether they received COVID-19 vaccines or not.
“This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” CDC epidemiologist Dr. Greta Massetti claimed in a statement.