Moderna CEO warns COVID-19 shots less effective for Omicron, ghost market

People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ride a bus in Hong Kong
People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ride a bus in Hong Kong, China November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Lam Yik

November 30, 2021

By Marius Zaharia and Renju Jose

HONG KONG/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Rugmaker Moderna’s chief executive sounded new alarm bells in financial markets on Tuesday after he warned that a COVID-19 vaccine was ineffective against the virus. Omicron bodies as they were for the Delta version.

Crude oil futures fell more than a dollar, the Australian currency fell to a one-year low and Nikkei gave up gains as Stéphane Bancel’s comments raised concerns that vaccine resistance could lead to more illnesses and imports. hospital, prolonging the pandemic. [MKTS/GLOB][USD/][O/R]

“I think there is no world (effective) on the same level. . . we’ve got with Delta,” CEO Moderna Bancel told the Financial Times in an interview.

“I think it will be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for data. But all the scientists I spoke to. . . like “this won’t be good,” Bancel said.

Moderna did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment for the interview and when it expects data on the effectiveness of the vaccine against Omicron, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says poses a risk. very high” cases of infection .

Bancel previously told CNBC that more clarity is needed on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron in about two weeks and could take several months to develop. begin shipping a vaccine that is active against the new variant.

WHO and scientists 29 has also said it can take days to weeks to understand the severity of the variant and the likelihood of escaping protection against vaccine-induced immunity.

“Getting vaccinated can still keep you out of the hospital,” says John Wherry, director of the Penn Institute of Immunology in Philadelphia.

Uncertainty over the new variant has sparked global alarm, with border closures casting a shadow over the nascent economic recovery from the two-year pandemic.

News of its arrival wiped about $2 trillion off the value of global stocks on Friday, but some calm was restored this week as investors awaited more data. data about Omicron.

President Joe Biden’s remarks that the US would not reinstate lockdowns also helped calm markets before remarks from the Moderna CEO spooked investors.

Biden has called for more widespread vaccination, while the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged everyone 18 years of age and older to get a booster shot. The UK has also expanded its COVID-19 boost program amid Omicron concerns.

First reported on 24 November from South Africa, Omicron has since spread to more than a dozen countries. Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has confirmed its first case.


Countries around the world have been quick to tighten border controls to prevent a recurrence of last year’s strict lockdowns and steep economic downturn.

Hong Kong has extended its entry ban to non-residents from several countries. It said non-residents from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia would not be allowed entry as of November 30.

In addition, it said non-residents who have been to Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel and Italy in the past 21 days will not be allowed into the city from December 2.

The Global Financial Hub, one of the last to pursue a COVID-free strategy, banned non-residents from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In Australia, 5 travelers tested positive for Omicron.

Singapore’s Ministry of Health said two travelers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the variant in Sydney transited through Changi -travellers-sydney-with-omicron -transited-changi-2021-11-30 airport.

Australian authorities have also identified a sixth traveler who is more likely to have been infected with this variant and has lived in the community.

On Monday, Canberra delayed the reopening of its national borders to international students and skilled migrants, less than 36 hours before they were allowed to return.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said: “We are doing this with caution but our overwhelming view is that although (Omicron) is an emerging variant, it is a variant that has manageable,” said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Global restrictions on travelers from southern Africa have also raised concerns about vaccine inequality.

“The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the unethically low levels of vaccination in Africa – and they should not be punished for identifying and sharing vital health and science information with the world.” , United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in one declare.

India, home to the world’s largest vaccine maker, has approved supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine to many African countries and said it was ready to “urgently” send more. China has also committed 1 billion doses for Europe green.

(Reporting by Marius Zaharia in Hong Kong, Renju Jose in Sydney, Tom Westbrook in Singapore and Reuters offices; Writing by Himani Sarkar; Editing by Shri Navratnam) Moderna CEO warns COVID-19 shots less effective for Omicron, ghost market


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