Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people who have been fully vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) would most likely need to take a third shot of the company’s vaccine as a “booster dose” within 12 months of their last shot.
Bourla’s comments were made public on Thursday, April 15, but were recorded on April 1 during an event with mainstream news outlet CNBC and private healthcare conglomerate CVS Health.
During this event, he said that he expects people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus on an annual basis, similar to how people get seasonal flu shots. (Related: PLAGUE PROFITS: Pfizer executive admits the company wants to profit off vaccines and will soon raise prices.)
“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed,” said Bourla. “And again, the variants will play a key role. It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,” he added.
“There are vaccines like polio where one dose is enough,” Bourla added. “And there are vaccines like the flu that you need every year. The COVID virus looks more like the influenza virus than the poliovirus.”
Bourla added that his company needed to do more research to confirm whether annual booster shots will be needed, but he said it will most likely be necessary given the research available to him so far.
Pfizer and its German partner in creating the coronavirus vaccine, BioNTech, have claimed that their shot remains highly effective against COVID-19 six months after the second dose. Pfizer is hoping to obtain more information regarding its vaccine’s ability to protect people beyond six months.
Moderna also planning on selling booster coronavirus shots
Executives at Moderna, which has also produced a supposedly highly effective COVID-19 vaccine, have also said they believe booster shots will be necessary “to ensure protection lasts” in vaccinated individuals.
Before Moderna makes a decision on whether or not to sell booster shots, the company is waiting for a report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH is currently studying the effectiveness of a third Moderna shot against emerging coronavirus variants, including the one first discovered in South Africa known as B.1.351.
If the NIH study shows that a booster shot is necessary, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said his company hopes to have the booster shot available in the fall.
“I want to make sure there are booster vaccines available in the fall so that we protect people as we go into the next fall and winter season in the U.S.,” said Bancel in an interview with CNBC.
Bancel added that he does not expect the coronavirus to go away. In fact, he believes more variants will appear, which will make it necessary for people to take annual COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.
“As more and more people get vaccinated or naturally infected, the pace of the variant is going to slow down and the virus is going to stabilize like you see with the flu,” said Bancel.
The Moderna CEO said his company is hoping to manufacture a two-in-one vaccine that can supposedly protect against seasonal flu and COVID-19.
“What we’re trying to do at Moderna actually is to get a flu vaccine in the clinic this year and then combine our flu vaccine to our COVID vaccine so you only have to get one boost … every year that would protect you to the variant of concern against COVID and the seasonal flu strain.”
Bancel added that he believes his company can make a flu vaccine with a high efficacy rate of at least between 40 to 60 percent.
Learn more about the planned booster shots for the coronavirus by reading the latest articles at Vaccines.news.
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