On Sunday, Albert Bourla, the CEO and Chairman of Pfizer, admitted that various variants of the COVID-19 virus will continue to persist even well after the global pandemic ends.
During an interview on “This Week,” hosted by ABC News, the Pfizer Chief Executive added that an annual COVID vaccine will likely be required, in light of the variants that will ultimately emerge.
Bourla anticipates resuming “back to normal life … within a year,” though he also added that the resumption of normal activities does not mean that “variants will not be continuing [to come].”
Bourla hedged on his vaccine remarks, in that he did not give a firm answer on whether or not people “should be able to live [their] lives without … having vaccinations.”
“That … remains to be seen,” Pfizer’s chief executive stated.
Regardless of whether or not all individuals will need annual vaccines in the future, Bourla also noted that the “most likely scenario” regarding the coronavirus, which has raged its way around the world, is the presence of “new variants” that will keep “coming out.”
For this reason, COVID vaccines need to “last at least a year,” according to Bourla.
Bourla also added that the presence of “annual re-vaccinations” is highly likely, though he also restrains this remark by adding, “we need to wait and see the data,” which means “we don’t really” know whether or not COVID vaccines will become an annual necessity.
In the past week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided authorization for booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for all individuals aged 65 and older. In addition, the FDA authorization also covers individuals who are regularly exposed to the COVID virus, as well as immunocompromised individuals who are at high risk of succumbing to the illness.
As a result of the FDA changes, or changing the vaccine from emergency use authorization to full FDA approval, numerous groups will now be eligible for booster shots, as announced by FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock. These groups include the following: teachers, daycare staff, healthcare workers, grocery workers, and individuals who reside in prisons or homeless shelters.
In addition, Pfizer has also requested for the FDA to continue expanding its vaccine approval by authorizing booster shots for all individuals aged 16 and older. Last week, the company presented outside data to the FDA that allegedly reveals the vaccine waning in efficacy over time.