Recently, Pfizer, in conjunction with its partner BioNTech, have asked American regulators to authorize an additional booster of the COVID vaccine for seniors. The pharmaceutical giant, which has richly profited from the pandemic, argues that Israeli data makes a case for a fourth booster shot in older adults.
At this moment in time, the United States formally recommends two primary shots of the COVID vaccine, followed by a booster dose for everyone who is aged 12 or older. Consequently, the latests efforts from Pfizer constitute yet another effort to increase injections, ostensibly only for adults aged 65 or older.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will have to approve Pfizer’s request. If these federal agencies grant the pharmaceutical corporation’s wishes, then a major question will emerge: how soon seniors should start expecting to receive a fourth booster shot.
Various health authorities continue to claim that vaccinations offer extremely strong protection against severe complications from COVID. However, the vaccines have not demonstrated much efficacy in milder infections, in particular the omicron variant.
While COVID cases have declined across the board amid an intensive surge in the omicron variant, various public health experts have started fretting over which other steps might be necessary for dealing with new variants as they arise.
During an appearance on “Face the Nation” over the weekend, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla boomed that the third booster shot provides excellent protection from “hospitalizations and deaths,” though he added that “it’s not that good against infections.”
“But we are just submitting those data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer,” Bourla brayed.
Despite Bourla’s proclamations, numerous scientists have pointed out that the key objective is to prevent or reduce the incidence of severe illness, rather than try to counteract every possible minor infection that may emerge amid the pandemic.