The CEO of biotechnology company Moderna said on Wednesday that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, will remain “forever”, suggesting that drug manufacturers will have to constantly adapt to new strains and seasonal or periodic outbreaks.
“We will live with this virus, we think, forever,” said Stefan Bansel during a panel discussion at the JPMorgan health conference. “SARS-CoV-2 does not disappear.”
Medical experts suggest that the new coronavirus may become an “endemic” disease that is maintained at baseline, such as seasonal flu.
Moderna has developed one of two vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, approved for use in the United States.
However, Bancel added that the United States will become one of the first major countries to achieve “sufficient protection”
The CDC says variants of the virus have already appeared in Britain, South Africa and Nigeria, and health officials in Ohio have identified two more Wednesdays, possibly from the United States.
The World Health Organization reports that four coronaviruses are endemic worldwide, but not as deadly or contagious as the one that causes COVID-19.
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