Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel offered his outlook on the coronavirus pandemic Thursday, maintaining the public health crisis could be over next year and things could return to normal.
When asked by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung when he thinks the pandemic will end, Bancel pointed to the widespread expansion of vaccination efforts, predicting there will be enough vaccine doses to vaccinate everyone by mid-2022.
“If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, there should be enough doses by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated,” he said, adding that they should “soon” be able to vaccinate children ages five to eleven and, eventually, those as young as six months old.
“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way, we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu,” he said.
“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. Let’s not forget,” he said, predicting the world can expect a “return to normal” one year from now.
According to the Our World In Data tracker, “43.9% of the world population has received at least one dose” of a coronavirus vaccine.
“Only 2.1% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose,” it added.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 182 million people, or 54.9 percent of the total U.S. population, have been fully vaccinated. Most of those fully vaccinated in America have received the Pfizer vaccine (over 99 million), followed by Moderna (over 67 million), and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson (over 14 million).