COVID-19 shots could soon become an annual item on your to-do list.
Due to waning effectiveness, particularly on variants like omicron, a fourth vaccine shot will be needed to keep hospitals and morgues quiet, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Sunday.
“Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now,” he said on “Meet the Press.”
“The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths. It’s not that good against infections, but doesn’t last very long. But we are just submitting those data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer.”
Pfizer is working on a COVID shot that would work against all variants, including omicron, and maintain its effectiveness for a year, turning the booster into a yearly event like the flu shot.
“If we are able to achieve that, then I think it is very easy to follow and remember so that we can go back to really the way we used to live,” Bourla said.
Currently, anyone 12 years of age or older can get a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine five months after their second. Those who received Moderna should wait six months after their second shot, and those who got the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine can get a booster after just two months.
Bourla also announced that Pfizer hopes to have data on a vaccine for children under the age of 5 by next month, which could get shots in arms as early as May.
Despite the understandable frustration from parents, Bourla said he stands by the decision to wait for “full, transparent proof about what the vaccine can do to the kids.”
Story by Kate Feldman, New York Daily News.