Moderna’s president is now telling Canadians that they may need COVID booster shots as early as December, citing data that shows that vaccine efficacy drops significantly after only a few months.
“In December and January, when flu season comes back and when respiratory viruses really take off around the holidays, it could become a very bad moment because you’ll see high forces of infection and breakthroughs,” Moderna president Stephen Hoge told Global News in an interview.
Hoge’s statements come less than a week after the Ontario government recommended that residents take Pfizer vaccines instead of Moderna’s, as — while both are linked to myocarditis — Moderna vaccines appear to cause myocarditis in 18-to-24-year-olds significantly more often.
Moreover, according to Moderna’s own data, antibodies provided via vaccination start to wane only six months after recipients get their second shot — it doesn’t even offer adequate protection for a year — leading experts to posit ongoing booster shots as a solution rather than alternatives to mRNA vaccines.
Hoge says that he was alerted during the Summer to the necessity of booster shots after a massive spike in outbreaks arose in vaccinated populations because of the Delta variant.
He now believes that Canadians might need booster shots at least annually to combat new variants of COVID-19.
“None of us want to be in a situation where we’re showing up six months or three months late … where we’re seeing breakthrough infections, severe disease, hospitalization, and even death,” said Hoge.
Hoge added that the reason Canada may have fewer hospitalizations than other countries is simply due to second doses being administered after a more extended period following the first dose of vaccine.
“In retrospect, we will probably say that time between the doses extended the durability,” Hoge said.
“The more recently you were boosted with your second dose, the less likely you’re going to need a third dose booster. And that’s good news. The challenge for all of us is you also don’t want to wait too long.”