Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has revealed that people may require a third dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine 6-8 months after the administration of the second dose to remain protected from the coronavirus pandemic. Bourla said people may also require a yearly dose of the vaccine to keep the disease at bay like in the case of annual flu shots.
“There are vaccines that are like polio that one dose is enough, there are vaccines like a pneumococcal vaccine that one dose is enough for adults and there are vaccines like flu that you need every year,” Bourla said. “The Covid virus looks more like the influenza virus than the poliovirus. 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.”
Chief science officer to the White House coronavirus task force, David Kessler, told Congress that people might require a third boost of the vaccines in 6, 9 or 12 months after the second dose even after the pandemic subsides and is under control. The United States government has begun to consider ways in which people will remain protected from the pandemic in the long term and this is what raised the issue for yearly revaccinations, Fox News reports.
A recent trial conducted by Pfizer reveals shows a 91% protection against the coronavirus six months after the second dose is administered and more than 95% effectiveness against other fatal diseases. The study involved more than 12,000 people and was held in February. Bourla said none of the 400 people who were vaccinated for the third time got infected for the disease in the mutated strain found in South Africa and the UK.
With the potential third dose, Bourla made it clear that the likelihood for people to be susceptible or reinfected with the disease will be highly suppressed. He said new data shows that the protection offered by the vaccines declines after several months without a third or annual shot.
The BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the most administered shot in the United States where almost 103 million people have been inoculated with the drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people that have been fully vaccinated are 38.3 million out of the 103 million.