First, Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna (MRNA), one of the leaders in the coronavirus vaccine race, said that its covid-19 vaccine is not expected to be available for widespread use until the spring. The company, Bancel told the Financial Times, would not be ready to apply for emergency use authorization for its potential vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration until November 25 at the earliest. “November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an EUA [emergency use authorization] filing that we would send to the FDA—assuming that the safety data is good, i.e. a vaccine is deemed to be safe.” Moderna, he said, would not be prepared to file for approval with the Food & Drug Administration to distribute the vaccine to the general U.S. population until late January at the earliest. That means the company does not expect to have approval to distribute the vaccine widely until the spring, according to the Financial Times.“I think a late [first-quarter], early [second-quarter] approval, is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine,” Bancel said.
Second, with public health experts worried about a “twindemic” this fall as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic overlaps with the start of the annual flu season, new surveys show that only 59% of adults say they plan to receive the flu vaccine this year, according to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Nearly 25% of high-risk adults, including those 65 and older, said they do not intend to get the vaccine. Last year, 48% of adults in the United States got the annual flu shot.