Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that his company was preparing to provide large amounts of its vaccine booster against omicron and other COVID-19 variants this fall.
“We’re confident by the fall of this year we should have large amounts of that new booster vaccine that will protect against Omicron and other variants,” Burton said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Last month, Moderna announced that its new bivalent COVID-19 booster shot was more effective against all variants than the company’s currently available coronavirus vaccine.
The company has said it expects initial data on its omicron-specific vaccine to be available in the second quarter of this year.
Burton also made a general push on Sunday for people who have not already done so to receive their COVID-19 booster.
“People are eligible now to get boosted. I would absolutely recommend it,” he said on Sunday.
Also on “Face the Nation,” former member of the Trump administration’s White House coronavirus task force, Deborah Birx, urged the U.S. to ramp up on its preparations for a potential COVID-19 surge in the summer, citing increasing case numbers in South Africa.
“Each of these surges are about four to six months apart,” she said of the South African outbreaks. “That tells me that natural immunity wanes enough in the general population after four to six months that a significant surge is going to occur again. And this is what we have to be prepared for in this country.”
As of Saturday, the U.S. reported 23,349 daily COVID-19 cases, far below more than a million daily cases seen during the omicron outbreak in January.