One of the giant vaccine players pushes back against a ‘fundamental shift’ spurred by mRNA. But is the CEO just whistling past the graveyard?
If one thing is completely clear, the pandemic has rewritten the rule book on fast vaccine development, with the new mRNA jabs from Moderna $MRNA and BioNTech $BNTX — partnered with Pfizer — emerging as head and shoulders above what’s been seen from the giants that have dominated this field for decades.
Every year, the new flu vaccines have underscored how erratic their protection has been, starting with some educated but often errant guessing on dominant strains. And now Sanofi/GSK has stumbled badly, forced to start over on Covid-19 after failing among the most vulnerable subjects. Merck tried, late, then failed and immediately bowed out. AstraZeneca $AZN has been bedeviled by questions about its vaccine’s efficacy, particularly regarding the new variants and older people.
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