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Bancel, speaking to investors on a first quarter earnings call, said people will likely need to receive booster shots of its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine as the virus continues to circulate around the world.
“New variants of concern continue to emerge around the world. And we think over the next six months, as the southern hemisphere moves into fall and winter, we might see more variants of concern emerge, ”Bancel said. The southern hemisphere includes Africa, Australia, most of South America, and parts of Asia. “We believe that booster injections will be necessary because we believe the virus will not go away. “
The data was preliminary and had not yet been peer reviewed.
Moderna’s vaccine requires two doses given four weeks apart. Like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the shot is very effective against Covid, although executives and company officials now say they expect this strong protection to wane over time. The Pfizer vaccine is also a two dose regimen while the J&J vaccination is just a jab.
Moderna on Thursday said sales of its hit vaccine helped generate its first quarterly profit in history.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine generated $ 1.7 billion in sales, according to its results report. The company also raised its 2021 sales forecast for its vaccine to $ 19.2 billion, up from its previous forecast of $ 18.4 billion. Bancel said the company was “actively engaged” in discussions and agreements for 2022 with all the governments it currently supplies for 2021.
Earlier this week, rival Pfizer also raised its vaccine sales forecast, forecasting annual sales of $ 26 billion.