The Covid-19 pandemic could be over in a year, the head of vaccine producer Moderna has claimed.
The company’s chief executive, Stéphane Bancel, said a boost in vaccine production should make jabs accessible to “everyone on this Earth” by mid-2022, the Mirror reports.
He said booster shots would be available soon, as would jabs for infants as the company has begun expanding its production.
Mr Bancel said: “Enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this Earth can be vaccinated.
“Those who do not get vaccinated will immunise themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious.”
He added to the Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung: “In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu.
“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.”
Asked whether that could spell a “return to normal” next year, he replied: “As of today, in a year, I assume.”
According to figures published by Our World In Data, 44.1% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
In low-income countries, only 2.2% of people have received at least one dose, while countries with the highest incomes are getting vaccinated more than 20 times faster.
On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres slammed wealthy countries for hoarding jabs and called on the world to “wake up” to the greatest “cascade of crises” in our lifetime.
“A majority of the wealthier world vaccinated. Over 90% of Africans still waiting for their first dose,” he said. “This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity.”
Colombian President Ivan Duque joined Mr Guterres’ calls at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and said the international community must equitably distribute jabs to avoid the creation of new, more fearsome variants of the coronavirus.
“It is our moral duty,” he said during his speech to the 76th assembly on Tuesday.
Some countries have acquired enough doses for six or seven times their population and have announced third booster doses, he added, while others have not been able to administer any shots.
In the UK, booster jabs are currently being offered to the over-50s, younger adults with health conditions and frontline health and care workers.
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