Health Care

Pfizer CEO: Fourth shot of COVID vaccine “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.”

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