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The pandemic will be over next year, vaccine expert says

Moderna’s CEO said there will be enough vaccines for the pandemic to end in 2022

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Vials of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines sit on a table.

Vials of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines sit on a table at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The coronavirus pandemic will be set up to end in 2022, according to Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel.

Bancel recently told the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung that increased vaccine production will allow the rest of the world to become vaccinated against COVID-19, which sets up the world to end the pandemic in 2022, per Reuters.

  • “If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required,” he told the Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper.

Bancel — who leads Moderna, a company that has developed an mRNA vaccine to fight off the coronavirus — said the unvaccinated will become immune naturally, which will make things harder this winter, according to Reuters.

  • “Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the delta variant is so contagious,” he said. “In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has a different outlook on when the pandemic will end. He told Axios that fewer Americans will need to be infected every day for him to feel comfortable saying the pandemic is over.

  • “The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we’re still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day. That’s not even modestly good control ... which means it’s a public health threat,” he said at the beginning of September.
  • “In a country of our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable,” Fauci told Axios.