Pfizer CEO now says fourth Covid vaccine doses may be needed sooner than expected to fight the Omicron variant
As you may recall, just a few hours ago we told you about Pfizer after the pharmaceutical giant and its partner, BioNTech, said in a statement on Wednesday that three doses of their vaccine can “neutralize” the Omicron variant and provide a high level of protection against the virus that causes Covid-19.
It turned out we spoke too soon. It now appears that Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is walking back his previous statement. We may need more than three doses to defeat the Omicron variant.
In a follow-on interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Bourla said that people might need a fourth Covid-19 shot sooner than expected after preliminary research shows the new omicron variant can undermine protective antibodies generated by the vaccine.
“When we see real world data, will determine if the omicron is well covered by the third dose and for how long. And the second point, I think we will need a fourth dose,” Bourla told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Bourla had previously stated that a fourth shot would be needed 12 months after the third dose. “With omicron, we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need it faster,” he said. Now, Bourla is saying the most urgent thing now is to roll out third doses for the winter.
“A third dose will give very good protection I believe,” Bourla said. He also said that treatments such as Pfizer’s oral antiviral pill, Paxlovid, will help prevent hospitalizations and control Covid during the winter.
Meanwhile, as you may recall back in May, Bourla said that vaccinated Americans would need a COVID-19 booster shot “somewhere between [every] six and 12 months.” In a taped comment made in April, which was later made public, Bourla said people will “likely” need a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. Bourla said:
“A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role.”
However, at the rate we’re going, we may likely be required to take four doses to protect us from new and emerging covid variants. Meanwhile, BioNTech CEO said the upcoming vaccine for the Omicron variant “should be a 3-dose vaccine.” You can watch the video below.
JUST IN – BioNTech CEO: Potentially upcoming vaccine for the #Omicron variant "should be a 3-dose vaccine." pic.twitter.com/ounAm4Fd41
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) December 8, 2021