Pfizer CEO: Third Dose Is Good, But Fourth Is Needed For COVID-19

Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, said in nationally televised interview that it is necessary to fend off waning protection.

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Yesterday, on the nationally broadcast television show, Face the Nation, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said he expected people to need a fourth dose of the vaccine to prevent another wave of COVID-19.

Back in January, a study published in The Lancet found that 3 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or AstraZeneca (AZD1222) COVID-19 vaccines effectively neutralized the Omicron variant.

However since the emergence of Omicron in the last few months, waning protection in the vaccines has been a developing issue as the case loads increased in the early part of 2022.

Pfizer has been working on a booster dose to address the variants.

"The variants are coming," Bourla said. "Omicron was the first to be able to evade in a skillful way the immune protection we were given, but we also know the duration of the protection doesn’t last very long. What we are trying to do—and we are working very diligently right now—is to not only make a vaccine that protects against all variants including Omicron but something that also protects for a year."

When asked if a fourth dose was necessary, Bourla said, ”It is necessary a fourth booster, right now; the protection we are getting from the third is good enough; it is actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths; it’s not that good against infections.”

No timeline has been set for the booster dose for the variants yet, but Bourla says the company will be ready with the manufacturing whenever a decision is made.

In the same interview, he said we are going to have to learn how to live with the virus. When asked if he thought if the COVID-19 vaccine would need to be administered annually like the influenza vaccine Bourla said, “I think so."