Moderna CEO expects “material drop” in vaccine’s effectiveness against Omicron variant: “This is not going to be good.”

(KCTV) — As world health officials turn their concern and attention toward a new coronavirus variant, Moderna’s CEO says he expects “a material drop” in the effectiveness of the company’s vaccine against Omicron.

<a href=”https://www.ft.com/content/27def1b9-b9c8-47a5-8e06-72e432e0838f” target=”_blank”>A Financial Times interview with Chief Executive Stephane Bancel</a> went live Tuesday morning, in which Bancel said, “There is no world, I think, where (the effectiveness) is the same level…we had with Delta.”

Bancel went on, “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.”

The Omicron variant was discovered last week in South Africa, where scientists have extensive genomic sequencing abilities. The new mutation has been identified by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern,” and has been detected in South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France and Canada.

A South African doctor who was one of the first to suspect a new strain said that anecdotally, <a href=”https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/26/health/omicron-variant-what-we-know/index.html” target=”_blank”>she’s seen symptoms from Omicron as very mild</a>.

Scientists across the world, including in Missouri, <a href=”https://www.kctv5.com/coronavirus/missouri-scientists-testing-wastewater-samples-for-omicron-variant/article_fe975a92-5174-11ec-806f-6f4917cc9043.html?block_id=991162″ target=”_blank”>are testing and re-testing wastewater</a> to determine if they can detect the Omicron variant already circulating within the population.