The other week, eligibility was broadened from over-12s to over-5s, with American health officials stating that they, too, should receive vaccinations. However, according to the Moderna CEO, most people under 60 don’t need a booster.
The head of pharmaceutical behemoth Moderna said that not everyone required an annual Covid booster and compared the virus to seasonal flu, reports Mail Online.
According to Stéphane Bancel, his company’s shots should primarily target the over-50s and individuals with underlying health concerns.
His remarks appear to be in conflict with the CDC’s recommendation that every person over the age of five be boosted.
Covid is now primarily killing the most susceptible people since the United States has developed substantial immunity through high infection rates and numerous vaccine rollouts.
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Currently, the virus is responsible for about 300 fatalities each day nationwide, down from almost 1,000 at this time last year.
At a financial conference on Monday, Mr. Bancel stated: ‘I think it’s going to be like the flu. If you’re a 25-year-old, do you need an annual booster every year if you’re healthy?
‘You might want to… but I think it’s going to be similar to flu where it’s going to be people at high-risk, people above 50 years of age, people with comorbidities, people with cancer and other conditions, people with transplants.’
Mr. Bancel’s remarks came in the midst of a slow vaccination booster rollout, in which only one in twenty eligible Americans have received their Omicron-specific injection.
The CDC this week approved Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccination for kids as young as five, despite the fact that there is little demand for the new immunizations.
Recently, Pfizer and Marvel collaborated on a PR effort that seemed to be aimed at kids.
But Mr. Bancel emphasized that it was ‘very important to think about’ whether or not to acquire Covid boosters.
Around “1.5 billion people” worldwide, according to him, fall into the vulnerable category.
Younger people, he added, “are going to have to decide for themselves what they want to do.”
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Out of the 215 million Americans who were qualified, about 14.8 million have already received the new bivalent booster.
Mr. Bancel defended the slow acceptance of Covid boosters by pointing out that it is faster than uptake of seasonal flu.
He emphasized that this is the first time the booster is being administered in an endemic rather than a pandemic scenario, implying that individuals are less anxious to receive a new vaccine.
‘You might do it to protect other people or because you don’t want to get sick and miss work, or miss vacation.’
He has, however, received the annual flu vaccination since the age of 30, he claims.
‘Is it because I was worried of being hospitalized? Of course not. I just didn’t want to be sick, I wanted to be able to work.’
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year expanded eligibility to include infants as young as six months old, controversy about the Covid vaccination program was ignited.
Many medical professionals advised against the action at the time, noting that children have a very low risk of contracting the virus and that it might interfere with other immunizations they require, like those for polio or measles.
There is also a widespread belief that the Covid outbreak has ended, following President Joe Biden’s declaration on television last month.
He has recently made an attempt to retract his remarks, but many people still believe Covid is no longer a threat.
According to calculations, vaccine manufacturers earned more than $34 billion in revenues last year from Covid shots alone – the equivalent of $1,000 each second.
With more than 800 million dosages acquired at a price of more than $10 billion, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines have served as the cornerstone of America’s vaccination roll out.
In response to decreased demand, Moderna and Pfizer are raising their pricing, according to a new Airfinity report.
The report said: ‘Moderna is estimated to be selling vials for between $32 – $50 with the United States potentially paying even more. Moderna indicated that the potential prices in the US market could range from $64 to $100 per dose.’
‘Most vaccine-resistant COVID strain ever’ – dubbed ‘XBB’ – is detected in the US with three confirmed cases: Mutant strain has causes case to double in a fortnight in Singapore
A novel Covid strain, considered to be the ‘most vaccine-resistant yet,’ has sent case numbers rising in Singapore — and it is already present in the United States.
The mutant strain, called XBB, is another Omicron variant that has been implicated for Singapore’s infection counts doubling in the last two weeks.
It has accumulated mutations in its receptor binding domain, which is a critical region of the spike protein where virus-fighting antibodies dock and prevent infections.
Alterations to this site render the virus less identifiable to the immune systems of individuals who have been immunized or have previously been infected with Covid.
Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins University raised the alarm about the new strain, saying: ‘It is likely the most immune-evasive [to date].’
However, there is no indication that this strain is more likely to cause serious disease or death than its parent or sister strains, which have all been shown to be moderate for the majority of people.
According to statistics, just two individuals die in Singapore each day as a result of Covid.
The virus now seems to have fragmented into a swarm of closely related sub-variants, as opposed to simply one or two dominant worldwide variants in the past.
They are all descended from the Omicron strain, which brought global case counts to all-time highs, and they all have comparable mutations.
Scientists were concerned about BA.275, which took off in South Asia just a few months ago. The BA.4.6 and BF.7 substrains have been steadily increasing in the United States.
Furthermore, in recent weeks, BQ1.1 has taken off in Europe, where it appears to be the frontrunner to become the continent’s dominant strain this fall.
At least three XBB infections have been detected in the United States and 16 other countries, including Australia, India, and the United Kingdom.
According to Singaporean researchers, it is 30% milder than the previously predominant BA.5 Omicron strain.
‘XBB’ is made up of two merged variations known scientifically as BJ.1 and BA.2.75
According to authorities, it was initially discovered in India back in August but did not cause a wave until recently.
Covid strains can merge if they infect the very same cell in the same individual at the same time and then swap genes, a phenomenon termed as recombination.
There have previously been other recombinant variants, such as ‘Delta-plus’ last year, but none have resulted in a significant increase in infections.
Instead, most quickly disappear as a result of the merger making them less contagious than their competitors.
However, XBB seems to be the most effective so far and is responsible for 54% of infections in Singapore, up from 22% a week ago.
Singapore’s reinfection rate has increased significantly with the introduction of XBB, from 12 to 17.5% of all cases, which may be cause for concern.
It is not yet known if this is only the result of dwindling vaccination protection.
However, officials have already predicted that the wave will peak in the middle of November, making it a brief, sharp, but crucially mild wave.
It happens at a time when America is struggling to ramp up its winter vaccination program in spite of cautions of a new Covid wave.
The United States is now distributing a bivalent vaccine to all over-5s that is intended to protect against Covid variant BA.5.
Although it is unknown whether it will also guard against XBB, scientists believe it will help to replenish people’s immunity.
Only 6% of those who are eligible have enrolled thus far, a month after the program began.
The other week, eligibility was broadened from over-12s to over-5s, with American health officials stating that they, too, should receive vaccinations.
However, the approach contradicts that of other countries, which are gradually increasing the age limit for Covid jabs due to worries about side effects such as heart inflammation and a lack of proof that it will benefit children.