American biotech company, Moderna, will seek a vaccine authorisation early June from the European Medicines Agency to clear its anti-covid-19 vaccine for use on teenagers aged 12-17 in the European Union, CEO Stéphane Bancel confirmed on Sunday to French newspaper Journal du Dimanche.
If we are to manage to vaccinate “all adults wishing to receive a first jab by the end of summer, we need to quickly target teenagers aged 12 to 17,” Bancel said.
Currently only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorised for the 16-18 age group in Europe. Pfizer has asked for approval to use their anti-coronavirus vaccine on the 12-16 year-old age group, and has received it in the US.
“The ideal would be to protect them before the end of August. If we do not vaccinate in big numbers, the risk of a fourth wave cannot be ruled out,” Stéphane Bancel, who has headed Moderna since 2011, explained.
At the moment Moderna is testing the effectiveness of its vaccine on four different Covid-19 strains, including the South African variant. The first results are expected beginning of June.
The CEO said Moderna could produce three billion doses per year, which together with the four billion doses produced by Pfizer-BioNTech annually, would be enough to cover the whole planet for a first dose.
Commenting on his personal wealth made during the pandemic – which according to Forbes has become a $5 billion fortune thanks to his shares in Moderna – Bancel said he intends to finance several NGOs via his philanthropic association ‘Champions of love’ created with his wife.