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Moderna CEO says vaccines likely less effective against Omicron: Report

'There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level we had with Delta,' Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times.

Topics
Coronavirus Vaccine | WHO | pharmaceutical firms

Reuters  |  Sydney 

A sign reading 'Stay safe' in Regent Street, in London, November 26, 2021. A slew of nations moved to stop air travel from southern Africa on Friday, and stocks plunged in Asia and Europe in reaction to news of a new, potentially more transmissible C
A sign reading 'Stay safe' in Regent Street, in London, November 26, 2021. (AP photo)

The head of drugmaker Moderna said COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus as they have been against the Delta variant.

"There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level we had with Delta," Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel told the Financial Times in an interview.

"I think it's going to be a material drop. I just don't know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I've talked to . . . are like 'this is not going to be good.'"

Vaccine resistance could lead to more sickness and hospitalisations and prolong the pandemic, and his comments triggered selling in growth-exposed assets like oil, stocks and the Australian dollar.

Bancel added that the high number of mutations on the protein spike the virus uses to infect human cells meant it was likely the current crop of vaccines would need to be modified.

He had earlier said on CNBC that it could take months to begin shipping a vaccine that does work against Omicron.

Fear of the new variant, despite a lack of information about its severity, has already triggered delays to some economic reopening plans and the reimposition of some travel and movement restrictions.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, November 30 2021. 11:24 IST
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