The third dose of Covid vaccine is anticipated to be wanted inside 12 months, in keeping with Pfizer CEO

President Joe Biden listens as Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla speaks at the Pfizer Kalamazoo manufacturing facility in Portage, Michigan on February 19, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said people “likely” will need a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of being fully vaccinated. His comments were posted on Thursday but recorded on April 1st.

He also said it is possible that people may need to be vaccinated against the virus annually.

“It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people who may be susceptible to the virus,” he told CNBC’s Bertha Coombs during an event with CVS Health. He added that the vaccines will be an important tool in the fight against highly contagious variants.

Researchers still don’t know how long protection against the virus will last once someone has been fully vaccinated.

Pfizer said earlier this month its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 91% effective against Covid and more than 95% effective against serious illness for up to six months after the second dose. Moderna’s vaccine, which uses technology similar to Pfizer, was also shown to be highly effective after six months.

Pfizer’s data was based on more than 12,000 vaccinated participants. However, researchers say more data is needed to determine if protection continues after six months.

Earlier Thursday, David Kessler, chief science officer of the Biden government in Covid, said Americans should expect booster vaccinations to protect against coronavirus variants.

Kessler told US lawmakers that currently approved vaccines offer high levels of protection, but that new variants may “question” the effectiveness of the shots.

“We don’t know everything right now,” he told the House Select coronavirus response subcommittee.

“We are investigating the durability of the antibody response,” he said. “It seems strong, but it’s wearing off a bit and no doubt the variants are challenging … they make these vaccines work harder. So I think we should, for planning purposes, for planning purposes only, expect us to possibly need to increase. “”

In February, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they were testing a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus.

Late last month, the National Institutes of Health began testing a new moderna vaccine designed to protect against a problematic variant first found in South Africa.

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