Moderna CEO says fourth COVID-19 shot could be necessary

The CEO of Moderna says that a fourth coronavirus vaccine shot may soon be necessary due to declining efficacy of booster shots.

"I will be surprised when we get that data in the coming weeks that it’s holding nicely over time — I would expect that it’s not going to hold great," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Thursday regarding the strength of the booster shots. "I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward."

Bancel says that the United Kingdom and South Korea have already begun ordering the fourth round of shots. 

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"We have been saying that we believe first this virus is not going away," Bancel said. "We’re going to have to live with it."

Moderna said last month that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine should offer protection against the rapidly spreading omicron variant.

Moderna said lab tests showed the half-dose booster shot increased by 37 times the level of so-called neutralizing antibodies able to fight omicron.

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And a full-dose booster was even stronger, triggering an 83-fold jump in antibody levels, although with an increase in the usual side effects, the company said. While half-dose shots are being used for most Moderna boosters, a full-dose third shot has been recommended for people with weakened immune systems.

Fox News' Jacqui Heinrich and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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