A fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot will be necessary to prevent future coronavirus infection, Pfizer’s CEO said Sunday as the pharmaceutical company prepares to submit supporting data to the Food and Drug Administration.
“Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth [shot] right now,” CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview with CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“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,” he said. “But we are just submitting those data to the FDA, and then we will see what the experts will also say outside Pfizer.”
Bourla shared that Pfizer is working on ultimately creating a coronavirus vaccine that would protect people against all of the known variants, including omicron, and that would last for at least a year. He likened this to an annual flu shot.
“We need to understand that the COVID will not go away in the years to come. We will have to live, to learn how to live with it, and we can, as we are living with many ― so many other viruses,” he said.
Creating an annual vaccine, he added, would be like going back to the way we used to live.
Preliminary data on this vaccine’s development is promising, he said in an interview Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” but information from trial studies won’t be available until the end of the month.
Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month found that booster shots lose a great amount of effectiveness after four months.
Several countries, including Israel, Chile and Sweden, are already offering fourth vaccine doses to older adults and other groups.