Pfizer's CEO Just Gave This New Warning to Fully Vaccinated People
The vaccine maker says that COVID isn't out of our lives yet.
We've come a long way since March 2020. Following the most recent surge of the Omicron variant, COVID numbers have significantly declined over the last month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infections have fallen more than 28 percent in the last week alone, and hospitalizations are also down by more than 27 percent. As a result, vaccine mandates and mask requirements all across the U.S. are being pulled back—making it seem as though the pandemic is on its way out for good. But as we've witnessed over these past two years, the virus has the ability to come back in waves, and many experts warn that the fight is not over yet.
During a March 13 interview on CBS' Face the Nation, host Margaret Brennan discussed the pandemic with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, asking him if another booster shot is needed, even for those who have already gotten three doses. According to the vaccine maker, a fourth shot will be essential.
"Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary," Bourla said. According to the Pfizer CEO, the protection people receive from the first booster shot is "actually quite good" against hospitalizations and deaths. But its effectiveness against general infection from the virus might not be good enough. It "doesn't last very long," Bourla explained.
Pfizer is currently submitting data on a fourth shot to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Bourla said this will allow the world to see what experts outside of the vaccine manufacturer have to say about the necessity of another booster.
Nevertheless, Pfizer believes booster doses might not just stop at the third or fourth shot. The CEO told Brennan that people may have to prepare themselves for a booster shot with COVID every fall, the way we currently administer the flu vaccine. Pfizer is working on a singular shot that will protect against all variants, including Omicron, and can protect for at least a year, according to Bourla.
"We know that the duration of the protection doesn't last very long," he said. "Not only of the vaccine, but also the people that are getting sick. They are not getting very durable immune protection. If you get sick, you can get sick again next year."
On a positive note, Bourla said that if Pfizer is able to achieve the vaccine booster it is trying to make, it should be easy enough for people to simply get one yearly shot, which will allow us to go back to the way we used to live.
"Clearly we are not where we would all like to be, which is COVID is behind us. I think that right now we have very significant tools in our hands so that we can go gradually, I think, back to our normal lives," Bourla told Brennan. "But we need to understand that the COVID will not go away in the years to come. We will have to learn how to live with it, and we can, as we are living with many, so many other viruses."