HomeNewsModerna President Says 4th COVID Booster Will Only Be Necessary for Certain Groups

Moderna President Says 4th COVID Booster Will Only Be Necessary for Certain Groups

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

Though Pfizer’s CEO and Dr. Anthony Fauci believe that a 4th COVID booster is necessary, Moderna President Stephen Hoge thinks healthy, young people can skip it.

At a Glance

  • The Moderna President shared that older adults or people with severe underlying conditions will need a fourth COVID booster
  • Everyone else should feel safe opting out. However, he said getting the vaccine will still be beneficial.
  • Other pharmaceutical companies disagree and think everyone needs the shot despite their health conditions.

Moderna COVID Booster Only Needed For The Old and Immuno-compromised

As of March 15th, the US is two years and three boosters into the COVID pandemic. And some officials, such as Anthony Fauci and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, believe we’re due for a fourth shot.

But Moderna thinks the main threat is over. And from now on, only certain groups will need to continue vaccines protocols.

“For those who are immune-compromised, those who are older adults, over the age of 50 or at least 65, we want to strongly recommend and encourage [a fourth shot], the same way we do with flu vaccines,” President Stephen Hoge told Insider on Monday.

Hoge said that the people who will most benefit from the booster will be cancer patients. The pharmaceutical president shared that for them, “COVID can actually be a life-threatening disease, even post-vaccination.” So people who suffer from the disease shouldn’t “mess around with that.”

But for everyone else, it’s more of a matter of opinion.

“Is it necessary? I think that’s a strong word. I think it will provide a benefit to anyone who gets it,” Hoge said.

Hoge will, however, continue to get the Moderna booster each year to stave off the possibility of long-term complications like fatigue, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, headaches, muscle pain, or changes in taste or smell.

“I personally will get a booster every year because I don’t want to ever lose my sense of smell,” he said, adding, “Long COVID sounds nasty.”

Pfizer CEO Disagrees with Moderna’s Stance on Boosters

While speaking with Face the Nation, Pfizer’s CEO shared a much different stance on COVID boosters. In his opinion, everyone needs the shot regardless of their health situation.

“Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now,” Bourla said during a Sunday interview. “The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. “It’s not that good against infections but doesn’t last very long.”

“But we are just submitting those data to the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer.” 

While he’s asking people to vaccinate multiple times a year, he did share that Pfizer is currently “working very diligently” on a booster that will target all COVID strains. When that’s available, he believes that people will be protected for a year at a time.