Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla said those vaccinated will “likely” need a third booster dose of the COVID-19 shot within 12 months of receiving a full vaccine, according to a recent statement.
In an April 1 statement made public on Thursday, Bourla said it’s possible people could need to receive a vaccine against the virus annually.
“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” he told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during a CVS Health event.
The CEO emphasized that vaccines will be an important asset in the fight against highly contagious variants such as the United Kingdom variant or the South African COVID-19 variant. In February, Pfizer and BioNTech revealed they were testing a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine to better understand the body’s immune response to coronavirus variants.
The same month, the company announced that it supplied the U.S. government with 300 million vaccines. To date, 70,811,070 people have received full vaccine doses in the United States, or 21.64% of the population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Thursday, David Kessler, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 response chief science officer, said people should expect to receive booster shots in the future for further protection against coronavirus variants.
“We don’t know everything at this moment,” he told the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, adding that the current vaccines are highly effective but that new variants could pose a “challenge.”
“We are studying the durability of the antibody response,” Kessler said. “It seems strong, but there is some waning of that, and no doubt, the variants … make these vaccines work harder. So I think for planning purposes, planning purposes only, I think we should expect that we may have to boost.”
The release of Bourla’s comments comes two days after federal health agencies recommended a pause of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine disbursement to investigate it for safety issues.
Also this week, Moderna’s CEO said the pharmaceutical company is working on ways to combine the flu and coronavirus vaccines.
“This virus, as I’ve said before … is not going to go away. It is not leaving the planet. We have to live with it, and we’re living with it like we live with flu,” Stephane Bancel told CNBC’s Squawk Box.
Recently updated data from a Pfizer clinical trial showed the vaccine was highly effective against preventing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations for at least six months following a second dose. Data was based on over 12,000 vaccine participants. More data is needed to determine vaccine effectiveness after six months.
The Washington Examiner contacted Johnson & Johnson and Moderna on whether tests are underway for additional booster shots for their respective vaccines but did not immediately receive a response.
Author : Kaelan Deese
Source : Washington Examiner : Pfizer CEO says third vaccine dose ‘likely’ needed within 12 months of full vaccination