Are we in the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic yet?

on Feb 16, 2022
  • Moderna CEO Bancel says the COVID pandemic is in its final stages now.
  • He expects Coronavirus to be a forever phenomenon much like the flu.
  • Shares of Moderna are down about 70% from their high in Aug 2021.

It’s a reasonable perception that the Coronavirus pandemic is in its final stages now, says Stephane Bancel – the chief executive officer at Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA)

I think there’s an 80% chance that as omicron evolves or the SarsCov-2 virus evolves, we are going to see less and less virulent viruses.

Highlights from Bancel’s interview on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box Asia’

Bancel, however, agrees that the world will have to learn to live with the Coronavirus, which will likely stay with us forever as flu did, which is why the CEO reiterated the need for vaccination. On CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia”, he said:

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We still need people to be vaccinated, especially older ones. People above 50, people at high-risk, comorbidity factor will need to be boosted once a year.

Bancel still sees a 20% possibility that the virus will mutate again to transform into a variant that is more hostile than the omicron.

Moderna is working on its omicron-specific mRNA vaccine

Moderna is currently running a clinical trial for its omicron-specific mRNA vaccine. Its existing COVID shot is not yet available in Hong Kong that reported the highest number of new cases last week since the start of the pandemic. Bancel added:

Our vaccine is currently not in Hong Kong. But we’re working with the authorities to get it off horizon. So far, our vaccine is approved in about 70 countries around the world. So, it’s on the roadmap for us to help as many people as we can.

Moderna received full FDA approval for its COVID vaccine last month. The stock benefitted greatly from the pandemic, hitting a high of $485 in early August 2021, but has been in a freefall ever since, trading currently at $152 with a PE multiple of 9.34.

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