Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he believed that a fourth dose of his company’s COVID-19 vaccine was “necessary.”
Pfizer CEO: Fourth shot of COVID vaccine “necessary”
A fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary in order to maintain manageable levels of hospitalizations and mild infections, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Driving the news: While fourth doses are already authorized for some immunocompromised people, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said last month that the possibility of another round of boosters was being “very carefully monitored.”
What they’re saying: Bourla said it was possible that COVID-19 boosters could become a yearly occurrence, much like the flu shot.
- “Variants are coming and Omicron was the first one…but also we know that the duration of the protection doesn’t last very long,” he said.
- “So what we are trying to do, and we’re working very diligently right now, it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year.”
The bottom line: “It is necessary,” he said when asked by Margaret Brennan whether a fourth dose — a second booster shot — would be required.
- The protection from the third dose has been “quite good” regarding hospitalizations and deaths but less effective against infections, he said, adding that “it doesn’t last very long.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Learning to live with it also means sort of preparing for what’s next. And Omicron was the first variant to really pierce the immunity that the vaccine offered. Do you think that we will every fall have to prepare ourselves for a booster shot with COVID, just like we get a flu shot?
BOURLA: I think so. And I think this is what we are trying now to make. First of all, we try very diligently to stay ahead of the virus because, as you said, many variants are coming and Omicron was the first one that was able to evade in a skillful way, the immune protection that we’re giving. But also, we know that the duration of the protection doesn’t last very long. Not only of the vaccine, but also the people that are getting sick. They are not getting very durable immune protection. If you get sick, you can get sick again next year with the same–
BRENNAN: –like four months or something like that–
BOURLA: Exactly, exactly. So what we are trying to do, and we are working very diligently right now, it is to make not only a vaccine that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, but also something that can protect for at least a year. And if we be able to achieve that, then I think it is very easy to follow and remember so that we can go back to really the way used to live.
BRENNAN: So you’ve seen some of that data on a- on a fourth dose, a second booster shot. You think it will be necessary.
BOURLA: Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now. The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. It’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long. But we are just submitting those data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer.
Full Transcript is here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/albert-bourla-face-the-nation-full-transcript-03-13-2022/
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