Pfizer CEO: Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine 'likely' needed within 1 year

Source: The Hill | April 15, 2021 | Justine Coleman

Pfizer’s CEO said Thursday that COVID-19 vaccine recipients will “likely” need a third dose between six to 12 months after they’re fully vaccinated and suggested vaccinations for coronavirus could be needed every year.

Albert Bourla told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs at a CVS Health event that he predicts based on current data a “likely scenario” will involve the COVID-19 vaccine being administered to patients annually.

Bourla said it “remains to be seen” how often any potential additional vaccines would be provided. 

“A likely scenario is there will be likely a need for a third dose somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there there would be an annual revaccination,” he said at the event.

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“But all of that needs to be confirmed and again the variants will play a key role,” he continued. “It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus because they are vaccinated with high-efficacy vaccines.”

Earlier this month, Pfizer, along with German partner BioNTech, reported their vaccine remained 91 percent effective at least six months after the second dose.

Bourla said the six months of data shows “extremely, extremely high” protection from COVID-19, noting that protection still “goes down by time.”

Health officials have previously raised the possibility that the public may need booster COVID-19 shots.

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