Moderna leader: Staying ahead of variants top priority

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By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Fusco

Moderna’s chief medical officer doesn’t mince words regarding those who still haven’t gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, saying vaccines are the best way to avoid serious complications or even death from the virus.

Dr. Paul Burton said the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has distributed more than 400 million doses around the world, and data is proving time and again that it’s exceptionally effective in preventing the virus or reducing serious symptoms.

“This is a vaccine that today is able to almost completely obliterate your chances of dying or being hospitalized with COVID and reduces your risk of getting COVID, so it’s an amazing vaccine and it does that very safely,” Burton said.

Most nations around the world, including the U.S., are distributing the vaccine for free to anyone who wants it.

“Our mission is to really eradicate a respiratory illness,” Burton said. “Flu, COVID, every year these kill and hospitalize hundreds of thousands of people. We want to be able to do that and we need to have a great vaccine that’s cost-effective and can be used by as many people as possible.”

But the biggest challenge is staying ahead of the continually evolving variants. That means more vaccines may be necessary down the line.

“I think we can get through the pandemic and make this an endemic disease, but we are never going to eradicate this virus,” Burton said. “We are going to need to stay safe and protected, and the way to do that is get vaccinated.”

Categories: Alabama News, COVID-19