Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, expressed hope the pharmaceutical company’s Covid-19 vaccine would deliver the “highest efficacy” against the Omicron variant.
“Our hope, at least in Moderna, is that we’re going to continue to see the highest efficacy overall and continue to see the boosters push that even higher,” he said during CNN’s town hall tonight.
“The optimist in me would say that maybe we find out over the coming few weeks as we generate more data in the real world, that the vaccines actually hold up quite well,” he said.
Hoge was responding to Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel remarks on Tuesday in which he suggested current vaccines might struggle with Omicron.
“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times. “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.'”
Hoge took issue with Bancel’s word choice, but acknowledged this evening that it is likely the current vaccines could be less effective against Omicron.
“I think some of the word choice may not have been optimal,” Hoge told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “But I think what Stéphane Bancel was trying to say was consistent with what he said — and what we feel, which is it seems likely that the Omicron variant is gonna make a dent in our vaccine efficacy. In fact, in all vaccine efficacy.”