Pfizer CEO: Third COVID vaccine dose likely needed within 12 months
CNBC – The CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla said people will most likely need a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within a year of getting fully vaccinated. His comments were made on April 1 but became public on Thursday.
Bourla also said people may have to get vaccinated 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 an event with CVS Health. He added the vaccines will be an important tool in the fight against highly contagious variants.
Researchers are still unsure how long the COVID vaccine protects against the virus.
Pfizer said earlier this month its COVID-19 vaccine was more than 91% effective at protecting against Covid and more than 95% effective against severe disease up to six months after the second dose. Moderna’s vaccine, which uses technology similar to Pfizer’s, was also shown to be highly effective at six months, CNBC reported.
More than 12,000 vaccinated participants were the base for Pfizer’s data. However, researchers said more data is needed to tell if protections extend longer than six months.
The Biden administration’s COVID response chief science officer David Kessler said earlier on Thursday that Americans should expect to receive booster shots to protect against coronavirus variants. Kessler told lawmakers that some variants could potentially “challenge” the effectiveness of the shots.
“We don’t know everything at this moment,” he told House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Response.
“We are studying the durability of the antibody response,” he said. “It seems strong but there is some waning of that and no doubt the variants challenge … they 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.”
Pfizer and BioNTech said they were testing a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in February.
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