April 16, 2021 – Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla 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 may be needed annually.
Bourla told CNBC 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.
“But all of that needs to be confirmed and again the variants will play a key role,” he said. “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 partner BioNTech, reported their vaccine remained 91% 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.”
Bourla’s thinking echoed what the scientific community has suspected for a long time. Health officials have previously raised the possibility that the public may need booster COVID-19 shots. Top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci told MSNBC this week that people “very well may need” a booster vaccine to protect themselves from the virus.
Pfizer and BioNTech said earlier this year they were testing a third dose of their vaccine against the COVID-19 variants that have spread worldwide.