Moderna is confident that its coronavirus vaccine will provide immunity against COVID-19 for at least a year.
"Our expectation is that the vaccination should last you at least a year," Moderna's chief medical officer Tal Zaks told the JP Morgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference.
Moderna's vaccine requires two doses to provide full immunity from COVID-19, but because the vaccine is brand new, scientists are not sure how long immunity will last. Zaks said that the Moderna is looking into whether adding a third booster shot will help extend the protection even longer.
"We'll have to boost people to see how well the boost works," Zaks said. "We think there is an opportunity to boost, especially the ones at high risk, should you need it."
Moderna is also confident that its vaccine will provide immunity against mutated strains of the virus that have popped up around the world. The new strains are more infectious and are the cause of a major spike in new cases in the United Kingdom.
Moderna's vaccine is one of two that have been granted an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27 million doses of the vaccines have been distributed to the states, and just over nine million have been administered.
Moderna said it is on pace to deliver between 600 million doses and one billion doses of its vaccine by the end of the year.
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