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Moderna CEO splits with CDC on COVID: 'Do you need an annual booster every year if you’re healthy?'

"I think it's going to be like the flu," the Moderna CEO said.

Published: October 19, 2022 9:42am

Updated: October 19, 2022 10:45am

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel is comparing COVID-19 to the flu and questioning whether young and healthy people should receive booster vaccines, contrary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

"I think it's going to be like the flu," Bancel said Monday during the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit.

"If you’re a 25-year-old, do you need an annual booster every year if you’re healthy?" Bancel asked before acknowledging that some individuals may want the vaccine "to protect other people" or to avoid missing work.

He predicted COVID boosters will be needed for "only people at high risk, people above 50 years of age, people with comorbidities, people with cancer and other conditions, people with transplants."

About 1.5 billion people globally are considered at-risk and would need to receive the COVID booster annually, Bancel said.

The CDC recommends for everyone, including children as young as five, to stay up to date with COVID boosters. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration last week approved Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's omicron-specific boosters for children.

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