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COVID-19 will be around ‘forever,’ says vaccine developer

Moderna CEO Stephanie Barcel said COVID-19 will live with us forever

COVID-19 vaccination tents are set up in the north of the Toy Story parking lot at the Disneyland Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif.
COVID-19 vaccination tents are set up in the north of the Toy Story parking lot at the Disneyland Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif.
AP

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel recently warned the American public that the novel coronavirus will be with us “forever” even with the help of vaccines.

What happened?

Bancel said at a panel discussion at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference that COVID-19 will not go away anytime soon, CNBC reports.

  • “We are going to live with this virus, we think, forever,” he said.

New mutations of the coronavirus will continue to pop up, he said. This will force vaccine developers, like Moderna, to increase their supply and change the vaccine to defeat the new variants, he said.

Context

Moderna is one of the major COVID-19 vaccine developers. The vaccine has been authorized for those 18 years old and older.

What is the future of COVID-19?

A new study published this week in the journal Science suggests the novel coronavirus will resemble the common cold in the future, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. Of course, this depends on how many people become immune to the virus.

  • The study suggests the virus will become “endemic,” which means it’ll circulate in low levels and rarely cause severe illness.
  • “The timing of how long it takes to get to this sort of endemic state depends on how quickly the disease is spreading, and how quickly vaccination is rolled out,” said Jennie Lavine, a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University in Atlanta, who led the study, The New York Times reports. “So really, the name of the game is getting everyone exposed for the first time to the vaccine as quickly as possible.”